The Palestine Herald, Palestine, Texas


August 3, 2013

At the Movies: Summer sequels — "Red 2" and "Wolverine"



Bruce Willis returns as retired and extremely dangerous CIA hitman Frank Moses in “RED 2.” Most of the gang is there, too — girlfriend Sarah (played by Mary-Louise Parker), whacked out best friend and retired colleague Marvin (John Malkovich), efficient British killing machine Victoria (Helen Mirren), and voyeuristic Russian spy Ivan (Brian Cox).

But some new killers are also involved in this comical espionage thriller — absent-minded mad scientist Bailey (Anthony Hopkins, “Hitchcock”), temperamental Chinese assassin Han Cho Bai  (Byung Hun Lee, “G.I. Joe”), lascivious Russian spy Katja (Catherine Zeta-Jones, “Broken City”), sadistic FBI agent Jack Horton (Neal McDonough, “Captain America”) and elegant French terrorist The Frog (David Thewlis, “Harry Potter”).  

It all boils down to this: wise-cracking Frank and zany Marvin are targeted for death by every spy network in the world. The only way they can save themselves is to discover the whereabouts of a portable weapon of mass destruction deployed 20 some years ago.

Director Dean Parisot (”Galaxy Quest”) keeps the action flowing and wisely leaves the rest to his marvelous cast. It is apparent everyone on the film is having a blast and it is just plain fun watching them enjoying themselves.

Bruce Willis as Frank is hilarious as he tries to shield his mischievous girlfriend Sarah, who wants in on the mayhem, from danger. Meanwhile celibate and goofy Marvin is giving love advice to Frank.

“Red 2” is every bit as good as its predecessor, and a little better than “The Wolverine.”

3.0 Stars

1 star = avoid this boring mess of a movie at all costs.  Reading the dictionary is more entertaining.

2 stars = if you're in the right mood or if the subject matter appeals to you, you may like this film; or it is uneven, at times entertaining and believable and at other times sophomoric.  If you've got nothing else to do, it may be worth the price of admission (at least a matinee).

3 stars = this is a generally good movie that most people will enjoy.  If you're looking for an entertaining couple of hours, spend it here and you won't be disappointed.

4 stars = don't miss this film!  I don't care if you have time or not, make the time, because this movie is terrific.

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