DI Red 2
2013 Running time: 116 Certificate: 12 Rating: 3
Red-2-KA

Synopsis

Former special ops supremo Frank Moses (Bruce Willis) is again lured out of retirement to track down a forgotten nuclear device hidden beneath the Kremlin. He needs to get there first... so he naturally turns to his old RED (Retired, Extremely Dangerous) stalwarts including Helen Mirren's buxom assassin, John Malkovich's wryly demented henchman and his old flame, Soviet army officer Katja (Catherine Zeta-Jones) to provide back-up. Zipping between London, Paris and Moscow, this is a Saga trip you'll never forget.

Director

  • Dean Parisot

Cast

  • Bruce Willis

  • Helen Mirren

  • John Malkovich

  • Mary-Louise Parker

  • Catherine Zeta-Jones

  • David Thewlis

  • Anthony Hopkins

Review

It's been three years since wetwork wizard Frank Moses (Bruce Willis) reluctantly returned to the fray, took down a rogue American vice-president and won the heart of call centre sweetheart Sarah (Mary-Louise Parker).

Now she's bemoaning the stale state of their relationship - seemingly revolving around trips to Home Depot - and welcomes the re-appearance of Frank's milldy dysfunctional buddy and RED (Retired, Extremely Dangerous) colleague Marvin (Malkovich).

He tries to persuade Frank out of retirement...and only succeeds when the pair of them are the targets of trigger-hysterical government goons led by rogue spook Jack Horton (McDonough), who has them in his sights for their involvement in a Cold War secret operation - Nightshade - which involved smuggling a nuclear device into the bowels of the Kremlin.

This is bad news for Frank and Marvin because Horton wants to ensure their silence by employing the world's most efficient guns-for-hire, including Hong Kong contract killer Han Cho-Bai (Lee Byung-hun) as well as their old British ally Victoria (Mirren).

Flitting to Paris in a plane pinched from Han, they run into Frank's old Soviet flame Katja (Zeta-Jones), who is also after the bomb, and a shady British go-between and sottish oenophile known as The Frog (Thewlis) before tootling off to London to spring the device's creator - Anthony Hopkins' tweedy loon - from a psychiatric prison.

Punctuating their whistlestop tour are a number of impressively staged action setpieces, including a car chase alongside the Seine, a jailbreak which involves Mirren cheekily reprising her impression of a monarch a la The Queen and a finale featuring a jaw-dropping stunt with an articulated lorry that wouldn't look out of place in the next Bond.

Even if it does slightly outstay its welcome, it zips along at a jaunty pace and has in Willis (all grim resignation) and Malkovich (knowingly weird) one of the more memorable double acts of recent action cinema.

Less an ensemble variation of Bourne and more Carry on Killing, there's much to enjoy in a sequel that finds laughs in the blase attitude of its anti-heroes to the grim business of inconsequential death.

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