RED 2 review

This needless sequel to the 2010 hit has met with indifference at the overcrowded US box office. It's not hard to see why – a machine tooled, efficiently made but utterly forgettable time filler, it offers more of the same without any inspiration or style.

Willis gives us the same smirks and casual laid back insouciance he adopts for all the franchises he appears in (A Good Day to Die Hard, GI Joe: Retaliation, no doubt next year's Sin City follow-up). Again he's the retired top-secret operative here embroiled in a fanciful caper involving a lethal device that will cause wide level destruction. Louise-Parker is on hand to get involved in the hope of experiencing some excitement in their now settled relationship, while mad Malkovich, after faking his own death, is there to help them out when the shots are firing. McDonough is the determined security agent chasing them, as is Bruce's former flame Zeta-Jones, a Russian killer. Mirren looks as if she's enjoying herself while firing guns with abandon and Hopkins is fun as a dotty scientist with the key to the info they need.

It's all done with jaunty high spirits, but the silly plot evaporates from the mind as it goes on. Though there's a certain high energy verve to the proceedings, there's never anything to get excited about. It's standard Hollywood action fare, with a light touch to be sure, but still offering nothing of nourishment or originality. Passable fare for only the most undemanding of cinemagoers.

RED 2 at IMDb

RED 2 London press conference

Stuart O'Connor is the Managing Editor of Screenjabber, the movie review website he co-founded with Neil Davey far too many years ago. He likes all genres, as long as the film is good (although he does enjoy the occasional bad "guilty pleasure"), and drinks way too much coffee.

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