RED 2 ★★★

My one and only viewing of this back in December of 2013 left me a little underwhelmed. I'd had so much fun with Robert Schwentke's first film in the series that my anticipation for the sequel had left me with unrealistic expectations that director Dean Parisot and the returning RED members would be struggling to fulfil. On reflection however, during this re-watch, I realised this wasn't quite as lame as I'd remembered.
RED 2 reunites Bruce Willis' Frank Moses alongside girlfriend Sarah (Mary-Louise Parker) with old colleague Marvin, played to comic perfection by John Malkovich, as they once again become targets for a government agency. It's back to the same old routine of globetrotting around Europe dodging bullets with Marvin still paranoid and Frank and Sarah trying to juggle their relationship with Frank's past and her eagerness for adventure. Helen Mirren and Brian Cox also return, and Anthony Hopkins adds another septuagenarian to the cast which gets its average age lowered just slightly by Catherine Zeta-Jones and Lee Byung-hun's involvement. The dialogue is sharp and funny, the action stagey but energetic, and the chemistry between Willis, Parker, and Malkovich especially good. Mirren still rocks for me, but this still falls short of the first film.

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