Red 2 Movie Review – Welcome to the Age of Geriatric Action

Film Title

Red 2


Retired CIA agents are accused of being nuclear terrorists. To avoid being killed, they must seek out a rogue nuke that was hidden in Moscow during the cold war.


Dean Parisot


Bruce Willis
Mary-Louise Parker
John Malkovich
Helen Mirren
Sir Anthony Hopkins
Catherine Zeta-Jones
Byung-hun Lee
Brian Cox
Neal McDonough


(L-R) MARY-LOUISE PARKER, BRUCE WILLIS and JOHN MALKOVICH star in RED 2    Ph: Jan Thijs  īŠ 2013 Summit Entertainment, LLC.  All rights reserved.

Pg-13, 116 Minutes

Fair Value of Red 2: -$0.25. I’ve seen better commercials for Pringles and Papa John’s Pizza. A feckless corporate stew of a film.

Tagline: The Best Never Rest

Entire Story in Two Sentences: Baby boomers still kick ass, guys! No really, we’re still relevant!

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Homo-eroticism: “Is that a stick of dynamite in your pocket?”. Other than one awkward moment of huddling for cover, not really much homo-eroticism. There’s also John Malkovich in a Carmen Miranda getup. Really though, this film is more about gerontophilia- various December-May romances going on for both genders. Of course, it helps to have the likes of Bruce Willis, Helen Mirren, and Catherine Zeta-Jones for such purposes.

Corpse Count: 55.

How Bad Is It Really? It wasn’t bad, just forgettable, and lukewarm. This film passed through me as though it was water. The only memorable performances were by the non-superstars: Mary-Louise Parker provided some comedy, Byung-hun Lee did some credibly good martial arts, and Neal McDonough could have made a good villain, if the movie had bothered to give his character more time and development.

The film runs through cliches of the formula like it were an inspection checklist at the DMV. Narrow escape from death squad, car chase, martial arts, break into the Kremlin, sniper scene. You can practically hear director Dean Parisot asking “can I get my paycheck now?”. You want a synopsis for this film? This is the plot: everybody wants a suitcase nuke. Another of the most tired of McGuffins of the action genre.

Best Exchange:

CIA Baddie: “I’m going to skin your girlfriend alive from the ankles up!”

Bruce Willis: “Awesome.”

Novelty Death: Did you know that if you fold a paper sheet enough times, it will become dense and sharp enough to slash throats? Death by origami crane.

Crowning Moment of Awesome: Byung-hun Lee demolishes a dozen Russian cops, using only the glass refrigerator door that he was handcuffed to. A movie  about a vengeance driven Korean assassin pursuing Bruce Willis- the actual actor, not a Bruce Willis character- could have been a fun flick.

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Stupid Political Content: Apathy reigns. Torture and rendition are perfunctory staples of spycraft, to be engaged in at the slightest justification. There are no good governments- the US, the Russians, the Brits, and the Iranians, all are equally eager and willing to get a hold of the perfect nuclear bomb.

Is there an Atomic Explosion? Why yes, a few kilometers away from Heathrow airport, but that’s not so bad, it took place over the North Sea! Though if the explosion is so big as to be seen by our heroes from Heathrow, and it went off in the North Sea… doesn’t that imply that some or all of Essex is now a charred cinder? Ah well, Colchester’s irrelevant; London is the only English city that matters.

What was Learned: We are in the long twilight of the Wasteful Generation. Has ever a generation aged as gracelessly as the baby boomers? No dignity, no gravity, no, just trophy wives, sports cars, and a desperate scream to be considered as they once were. If The Expendables was the final roar of a withered Tyrannosaurus Rex, Red 2 is more like a soft heave of breath as the dinosaur lays dying. Welcome to the decade of 100 male versions of Norma Desmond, all shot in bullet time. Welcome to the decade of geri-action.

About Devon Pack

I wanted to write with Ruthless because frankly rancor, contempt and dismay are my best muses.