I love the beginnings of movies. I get excited as the camera zooms in on a city skyline, a glistening ocean, a snowy mountain top or even just a character that I may or may not get to know over the next two hours.
There is a pleasure in the uncertainty of what will happen. Will the first character on screen be the protagonist, an extra, the protagonists’ significant other? I enjoy the feeling of the unknown and the possibility that what I’m watching might be an instant classic. I enjoyed the beginning of RED 2 – and that was pretty much all I enjoyed.
RED 2 is the sequel to 2010’s surprising hit RED. Bruce Willis is back in his role as former CIA black-ops agent Frank Moses. The film sees him and his old pal Marvin Boggs (John Malkovich) getting into all sorts of dangerous situations in numerous cities while chasing, or being chased by, an increasing amount of bad guys.
The plot centres on some sort of nuclear bomb planted by somebody, sometime ago that may or may not go off. This intentionally vague description is not because I dozed off (although I thought about it), it’s because, what does it matter?
A film like RED 2 just foregrounds the idea that an interesting or intricate plot line is of nowhere near the importance than say, a car chase through a European city or a bunch of muscle bound men shooting at a handcuffed and weaponless Bruce Willis (you’ll never guess who wins that particular showdown).
RED 2 has been done thousands of times before and will be done thousands of times again. It is a contrived, cliché driven film in which 67-year-old Helen Mirren can knock out an able bodied Iranian guard with the palm of her hand and Bruce Willis can catch a knife with his hands just before it hits his girlfriend's face.
I can see why they keep making these films. People like huge explosions and frenetic chase sequences. It brings people into movie theatres, which is a good thing, so I’ll save my rant about so-called action movies for another day – but why on earth did they cast Catherine Zeta-Jones as a Russian spy when she does not utter one syllable in anything closely resembling a Russian accent throughout the entire movie?
Don’t go see RED 2 if you like a film to do anything more than give you obvious storylines, stock characters, expensive action sequences and John Malkovich doing a strange pouty thing with his mouth.
RED 2 is in cinemas August 2.