Sunday, July 28, 2013

RED 2 is a 2013 American action comedy film and sequel to the 2010 film RED. It was inspired by the limited comic book series of the same name, created by Warren Ellis and Cully Hamner, and published by the DC Comics imprint Homage. The film stars Bruce WillisJohn MalkovichMary-Louise ParkerCatherine Zeta-JonesLee Byung-hunAnthony Hopkins, and Helen Mirren, with Dean Parisot directing a screenplay by Jon and Erich Hoeber. RED 2 was released on July 19, 2013.


Plot[edit]

While trying to lead a normal life with girlfriend Sarah Ross (Mary-Louise Parker), Frank Moses (Bruce Willis) is approached by Marvin Boggs (John Malkovich), who is afraid that there are people following them, but Frank shrugs him off. After appealing a second time, Marvin drives off, but his car is blown up. Sarah convinces Frank, who does not believe Marvin is dead, to go to Marvin's funeral, and after the funeral, Frank is taken to be interrogated at a Yankee White Facility. During the interrogation, Jack Horton (Neal McDonough) appears, killing most of the facility's personnel, and tells Frank that he will torture Sarah in order to get information out of Frank. Frank manages to escape with the help of Marvin, who turns out to be alive, and they go on the run with Sarah. Marvin explains that he and Frank were being hunted down because they were listed as participants in a secret operation codenamed Nightshade. The operation was conducted during the Cold War era in order to smuggle a nuclear weapon into Russia piece by piece. Victoria (Helen Mirren) calls and tells them she has accepted a contract from MI6 to kill Frank. Meanwhile, top contract killer Han Cho-Bai (Lee Byung-hun) is hired to kill Frank as well.
Frank, Marvin, and Sarah travel to Paris to track down a man nicknamed "The Frog" (David Thewlis), with Han, whose plane they stole, and the Americans on their tails. As they arrive in Paris, they are stopped by Katya (Catherine Zeta-Jones), a Russian secret agent who Frank had a relationship with earlier in his career. Katya is in search of Nightshade as well, and teams up with them to find The Frog. After The Frog flees from them, Frank and Katya catch him and bring him back to his house, where Sarah succeeds in wooing him to help them. The Frog gives them the key to his security box, which Katya attempts to get from Frank after drugging him, but it turns out Marvin had planted a fake key on Frank. He, Frank, and Sarah later find documents in The Frog's security box which point to Dr. Edward Bailey (Anthony Hopkins), a brilliant physicist, as the creator of the bomb involved with Operation Nightshade.
They find out that Bailey is still alive, having been held in an asylum for the criminally insane in London for thirty-two years. After arriving by the stolen jet in London, the trio are confronted by Victoria, but Victoria helps to fake their deaths. Victoria then poses as an insane woman in order to gain access to the asylum. Frank and Victoria meet Bailey, who is hyperactive and does not respond to their questions. After a while, Bailey reveals that the bomb is still in Moscow. They go to Moscow, and after a close call with Han, Bailey comes to the conclusion that he hid the bomb in the Kremlin. They break into the Kremlin, and Bailey locates the bomb, but as they are about to leave, they are stopped by Katya. Frank convinces his former lover to switch to their side. As all are celebrating success, Victoria calls Frank from London and tells him that Bailey was locked up because he wanted to see the bomb go off. Bailey holds Frank at gunpoint and confirms Victoria's message, revealing that he made a deal with Horton and the Americans to leave with the bomb. He then shoots Katya, staging her death at Frank's hands, and leaves. Horton reneges on his deal with Bailey, intending to question him, but Bailey escapes by using a nerve agent he created. Bailey moves to the Iranian embassy in London, and as Frank attempts to follow, he is confronted by Han, and after a fistfight, Frank asks Han to join sides with him and stop the bomb. Han eventually relents, and they set in place a plan to recapture Bailey and the bomb.
Sarah seduces the Iranian ambassador and takes him hostage on the pretext of women's rights in Iran. Marvin sets in place a diversion, and the rest come in disguise to "fix" the problem. When they arrive, they discover that Bailey has set the bomb timer off. Bailey kidnaps Sarah and goes to the airport to escape the imminent explosion. Frank, Marvin, Victoria, and Han give chase, but are themselves chased by guards from the embassy. After they escape, they arrive at the airport, and Frank saves Sarah from Bailey, but is forced by him to take the bomb off the plane. They reunite with Marvin, Victoria, and Han and wait for their imminent deaths, but the bomb explodes in the air. Frank reveals that he snuck the bomb on the plane. The movie closes with a scene showing Sarah enjoying herself on a mission with Frank and Marvin.

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

In January 2011, Summit Entertainment rehired writers Jon and Erich Hoeber to write a second installment of RED due to the film's financial success, which even surpassed producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura's expectations.[11][12] Helen Mirren stated in March 2011, that she is ready for RED 2.[7] In October 2011, Summit announced that RED 2 would be released on August 2, 2013 and the film would "reunite the team of retired CIA operatives with some new friends as they use their 'old-school style' to take on new enemies in Europe."[13] In February 2012, Dean Parisot, best known for directing Galaxy Quest and Fun With Dick and Jane, entered final negotiations to direct the sequel.[14]
In May 2012, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Lee Byung-hun signed on to join the cast of RED 2.[5] Also in May, it was reported that Anthony Hopkins was up to appear in the film as the villain, Edward Bailey, if a scheduling conflict could be worked out with Thor: The Dark World.[6] In July 2012, Neal McDonough entered negotiations to join the cast of RED 2.[10]
In August 2012, it was announced that RED 2 would film in Montreal beginning in September. The city was selected because of a 25 percent tax credit offered by the province ofQuebec and because of its resemblance to European cities (the film's settings include LondonParis and Moscow). It was also reported that following the Montreal shoot, the production would film in London even though Montreal doubled for London in some scenes.[15] In September 2012, David Thewlis joined the cast as a character called The Frog, an information dealer who got his name by poisoning the water supply at the Kremlin using a poisonous Amazonian frog.[9] Principal photography began in late September in Montreal.[16] Production moved to Paris in mid-October then to London by the end of the month.[4][17] In March 2013, Summit moved the film's release date from August 2, 2013 to July 19, 2013.[18]
The childhood photo of Han Cho-bai (Lee Byung-hun) and his father that appears in the film are actually photos of Byung-hun with his late father, who passed away in 2000. [19][20]Byung-hun's father was a fan of Hollywood films and dreamed of being an actor himself. When Byung-hun shared this story with Dean Parisot, the director, he was so touched that he decided to include Byung-hun's father at the end credits as one of the main cast, even though the photos appear only briefly in the film.[21]

Reception[edit]

Box office[edit]

RED 2 opened on July 19, 2013 in North America. In its opening weekend, the film grossed $18.5 million and finished in fifth place, which was lower than the $21.8 million its predecessor earned in October 2010. According to exit polling, 67% of the audience was over 35 and 52% was male.[22] As of July 21, 2013, RED 2 has grossed $18,500,000 in North America and $26,100,000 worldwide.[3]

Critical reaction[edit]

RED 2 has received mixed reviews from film critics. The film holds a 40% approval rating on the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, with an average rating of 5.1/10 based on an aggregation of 99 reviews.[23] Metacritic, which uses a weighted mean, assigned a score of 57 out of 100, based on reviews from 15 film critics.[24]
Justin Chang of Variety called RED 2, "An obligatory sequel that can't quite recapture the sly, laid-back pleasures of its cheerfully ridiculous predecessor."[25] Todd Gilchrist of The Wrap said, "...in a lackadaisical sequel no one asked for except perhaps his creditors, [Bruce Willis] seems unmotivated to smile at all, much less offer a series of emotions that constitute a believable or compelling performance."[26] Justin Lowe of The Hollywood Reporter said, "Not that it isn’t entertaining, but the film's premise is certainly well past its 'use by' date, resulting in another passably palatable sequel distinguished by a lack of narrative and stylistic coherence that could potentially underpin a really viable franchise."[27] Betsy Sharkey of Los Angeles Times said, "No doubt the hope was that [Dean] Parisot could do to the action genre what he did to the Star Trek universe in the spot-on satire of 1999'sGalaxy Quest. He has, and he hasn't. Red 2 is much more of a mixed bag than it should have been."[28] Nicolas Rapold of The New York Times said, "Cars careen, lazily written infiltration plans are executed, and the violence is plentiful and toothless."[29]


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