by R.C. Samo
Red 2 is the sequel to the Warren Ellis graphic novel from Vertigo, a DC Entertainment company. In this installment, we find retired C.I.A. operative Frank Moses (Bruce Willis) is linked to nuclear terrorism, from the Cold War era to a bomb that was build inside the Kremlin by British scientist Dr. Bailey (Anthony Hopkins); a mad man who has been locked away for over 30 years to prevent him from detonating this weapon of mass destruction, essentially starting World War III.
With the help of fellow C.I.A. retiree Marvin (John Malkovich), MI-6 agent Victoria (Helen Mirren), his thrill seeking girlfriend Sarah (Mary-Louise Parker) and former KGB operative Katja (Catherine Zeta-Jones), Moses must stop Bailey, keep his relationship intact, avoid his “kryptonite” temptress and stay alive as both the C.I.A. and MI-6 are have put on his head, by hiring world renowned mercenary Han Cho Bai (Byung-hun Lee).
The movie is loaded with action and wit. Malkovich steals the movie, while Mirren’s delivery is impeccable. Lee has a way of playing redemptive assassins and Willis is always on top of his game. Parker is a great actress but was miscast for this role as she came across as too much of a teenager instead of a grown woman trying to escape her Mid-Western upbringing. Jones is stunning as ever, a true talent, but needed a bit more work on the Russian accent. But hey, if those are our only complaints, then you know the movie is worth your $12.
Red 2 is one of the best graphic novel adaptations to the big screen and will Ellis giving director Dean Parisot his blessing to take the film in this direction, it only made the film more fun and enjoyable.
Red 2 opens nationwide July 19, 2013.