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RED 2

Saw this in Sunday after my century, so my memory of it isn’t as clear as maybe it could be, since I was already tired and thought three beers were an awesome idea. Also, I apparently missed the best fight scene of the entire movie because my brain still thought I was dehydrated and my bladder begged to differ.

That said, this movie was a lot of fun. This isn’t something I’m going to squee over or write blog post after blog post for. It’s not that kind of movie. It’s just fun. And everyone in that movie sure looks like they’re having a great time and were just nice enough to bring you along.

I think this is the only non-Batman DC comics movie franchise I have ever given a shit about. And frankly, given the choice between Batman and RED, most days I’d actually go for RED because its raison d’être isn’t the idea that western civilization is a crumbling, cynical wreck from which only a rich guy with awesome toys can save us. RED is brain candy where senior citizens blow shit up.

Basically, if you liked the first RED, you’ll like the second just as much. Same sort of humor, same sort of action, same poking fun at spy tropes. John Malkovitch was so intensely John Malkovitch that I may have sustained a slight John Malkovitch burn, which may some day give me skin cancer. Helen Mirren is still the most perfect. Anthony Hopkins is just gleeful.

I think Lee Byung-hun as the super assassin Han Jo-Bae was actually my favorite though. (Except Helen Mirren because she will forever be queen of my heart.) He starts out as just the creepy angry badass and then there’s some really fun development, just to turn that trope on its head. Oh, and his fight scenes were lovely. Hope to see him in more movies.

RED is an action world at 90 degrees off the normal plane and I enjoy it for that. It’s where age and treachery win every time, the ultimate sign of affection is giving someone a gun, and yes, that really is a stick of dynamite in John Malkovitch’s pocket, but he is happy to see you nonetheless. I’m not sure why the franchise never quite makes the leap for me into something truly memorable as comedy. Maybe because it is just about finding tropes and twisting their nipples in the must amusing way possible, but without much of a heart behind it all. It’s telling that I can remember all the actors by name, but couldn’t tell you what their characters are called to save my life. I’d watch it any time it was on TV, but I can’t say I’d bother to buy it.

But definitely worth seeing in the theater if you like that kind of movie. I will say of it’s the choice between this and Pacific Rim, you should see Pacific Rim instead. There’s so much more meat there, and it’s just as much fun.

Originally published at Rachael Acks: Sound and Nerdery. You can comment here or there.

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