Remember that Bruce Willis movie where he shoots everyone? How about the one where cars can bend the laws of physics, the guns have way too many rounds in the clip, and even the most innocent looking inanimate object is somehow explosive?
If you do, then I don’t even need to get into this latest installment of Mr. Willis’ long and bullet hole-ridden career. It certainly does not disappoint . . . as long as you’re not expecting a trip to the red (2) carpet. However, if you have no idea what I’m talking about let me fill you in on the general idea–the secret formula, if you will–that has made this movie (and all its predecessors) continue to top the box office and keep fans coming back for more.
Open on a normal day somewhere in America. A normal looking guy is just minding his own business . . . not wanting to get involved. But, just as greatness is thrust upon some, trouble comes knocking on his door (or landing on his car, in one case). In place of a plot, the producers throw in a love interest, a brooding criminal with an accent, and a number of explosions to keep the story going. In spite of his constant reluctance, our hero has no choice but to grab the nearest 9mm and shoot until the world is safe.
Much like Red, Red 2 runs much like a comic book, showing only condensed snapshots of converging scenes before transitioning to another page, and to another part of the world. This film lacks the pithy one-liners that made Bruce Willis’ characters so well known. The writers likely had in mind that the dialogue should contain no lines that couldn’t fit into a speechbubble. And though the characters attempt to address deep emotional issues in the midst of being shot at, no real evolution is ever achieved.
But you don’t watch Red 2 for the love story.
Red 2 does provide some twists to an already predictable plot. If you saw It’s a Good Day to Die Hard, essentially the R-rated counterpart to this movie, you’ll know what these twists are. Any action movie is only as good as your willingness to buy into it. If you can accept that a gun needs to be cocked twice, great. If you can accept that the lead characters are never in any actual danger, perfect. Most importantly, if you can laugh at ridiculous lines and not let that kill your action buzz, then Red 2 is for you.
I would say this movie ranks about average for Willis. If anything, the overall sense you come away with is that these up-in-years actions heroes, along with this formula, are starting to act their age (tired). But what do you expect? Unbreakable?