Entertaining summer fluff

RED 2 Entertainment One Rating: PG 116 minutes

The trouble with sequels, of course, is that they seldom live up to the original and RED 2 is no exception. The first RED was a surprise hit, so now we get the sequel to cash in on it. Not that the sequel is terrible, like, say Hangover II. It’s just pleasant and entertaining summer fluff, easy to take.

Bruce Willis is back as the dangerous retired CIA operative (RED means Retired, Extremely Dangerous). Mary Louise Parker is his girlfriend and John Malkovich is his former sidekick. They’re out to find a portable nuclear bomb and Helen Mirren is hired to kill them before they find it, but she is an old friend, so helps them instead.

Anthony Hopkins plays the not so wacky scientist who designed the bomb. Then there’s Byung-hun Lee as another deadly assassin and Catherine Zeta-Jones as a Russian agent and old buddy of our heros.

They’re off to exotic locations around the world, London, Paris, Moscow, etc., but the plot is only a feeble excuse for them to do their former secret agent thing. That means there’s lots of shootouts and action sequences, some so over the top they seem to be satirizing the genre.

And while none of it is even remotely believable the movie is fun. Malkovich is enjoyable as the paranoid ex-agent and there’s something sublimely ridiculous and appealing about Helen Mirren as a sexy and dangerous assassin, calmly killing multitudes around her. There’s worse ways to spend a couple of hours, but don’t go out of your way.

Rating: three deer out of five

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Alf Cryderman is a Red Deer freelance writer and old movie buff.