By Jonathan Smalls, Staff Writer
Before you get in line to see a movie like Red 2, you need to understand that it has guns, lots of guns. It has secret government plots, lots of plots. And it has fighting, lots of fighting. So you might think that you are in for another summer action movie. If so, you would be wrong; no, it is not your fault, because the marketing is misleading, but this movie is actually a comedy. It is a comedy with guns rather than a funny action movie.
What is the difference? An action movie is focused on daring feats, plots, intrigue, and bigger, and bigger spectacle. Think of James Bond, Die Hard, or any thing the Governator ever made. Writers may be able to slip some fun times into, but that is not why paid the price of admission. A comedy however is focused more on the interaction between the characters, and trying to find the funny in that like in Bridesmaids, or Meet the Parents. Some one might hold a weapon at one point, but the story could be still be told without fighting. That is Red 2, a comedy.
Are you ready yet? Have your expectations been set? OK good, because it is also not a particularly good comedy. It is cute, and light hearted at different times, but it never actually reaches hilarity. All of the jokes are telegraphed, and predictable miles in advance, because the story is not incredibly original. There is one plot twist that is actually intriguing, but the rest of it is just a mechanism for Bruce Willis, and John Malkovich to tuck, roll, and shoot through different scenes.
That is not to say that it is bad. It is just not necessarily good either. Of Bruce Willis, John Malkovich, and Mary Louise-Parker, every one phones in their performances over a lackluster script. Even Academy award winner Anthony Hopkins can not save the acting from just feeling drab for more than a few minutes at a time.
If you saw the prequel, you know what to expect from Red 2. If not, wait for it to come out on video. It is fun, and cute, but its bloodless action will be even better on network television when it is free.