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Red 2 (Blu-ray Review)

Red 2 - www.whysoblu.comRetired black-ops CIA agent Frank Moses (Bruce Willis) reunites his unlikely team of elite operatives for a global quest to track down a missing portable nuclear device. To succeed, they’ll need to survive assassins, terrorists and power-crazed government officials, all eager to get their hands on the super weapon. I really enjoyed the first Red film, so I’m hoping that Red 2 will be as fun and entertaining as the first film. Let us read on and find out!  

Red 2 - www.whysoblu.com

Film  

RED still stands for “Retired, extremely dangerous.” It’s the continuing tales of a few covert operatives trying to live out their golden years in retirement. Like the Godfather films just when they thought they were through they get pulled back in. In this second installment of the series Frank Moses is living out his retirement with the spunky Sarah Ross (Mary- Louise Parker) when out of nowhere, and at the local Costco no less, Marvin Boggs (John Malkovich) comes back into their lives with word that there is a hit against the old team. Moses dismisses this until Boggs presumably bites it in a car bomb of said Costco. Release the hijinks!

From that moment on shadowy agents are after them for the convoluted reason that they were mentioned as willful participants in some classified program called “Nightshade.” This program had to do with nuclear weapons and a brilliant scientist who looks a tad bit like Anthony Hopkins. The boys and girl(s) set off to London and France to get answers. Along the way they encounter “The Frog” (seriously,  the France bashing is not needed) played by the incomparable David Thewlis (Thewlis rocks), who has some information that the team desperately needs. Also, an old flame of Frank makes her presence known and her name is Katja played by Catherine Zeta-Jones. She may or may not be working both sides. After them all is probably the only person who is really having the most fun killing people and that is Neal McDonough as Jack Horton, an agent who shoots first and doesn’t ask questions.

Oh, and not only is Jack Horton after them but the gorgeously sexy Helen Mirren (rawr, indeed) is back as cleaner extraordinaire and has teamed up with the badassery that is Byung-Hun Lee who also has an axe to grind with Frank. All of this insanity will come to a head before the film is over. The bad guys are not necessarily the bad guys and the good guys aren’t necessarily the good guys. That’s ultimately how the cookie crumbles. Cue those hijinks!

If you caught on to my sarcasm and embellishments in the previous paragraphs then my work is done. Red 2 is a very disappointing sequel that I had to do something to keep myself entertained while writing out this review. The film has great production, effects, and an amazing cast. I just wish that it wasn’t so mediocre. Bruce Willis aside from one scene in the entire film looks like he’s sleepwalking throughout the film. The rest of the supporting cast seems to be the only ones having any fun. It’s as clear as day. I know Willis has recently come out in the press and said that he’s pretty much through with the action genre, etc., but that’s still no reason to come up short on a sequel to a film franchise that has/had potential. The first Red film rocked. Granted, that one had Morgan Freeman, but still. Red 2 has Anthony Hopkins!

I couldn’t help notice that the supporting cast was doing more to keep the film afloat than the star himself. They can only do so much that I relished every instance of screen time they had. Helen Mirren shined in every scene she was in and I love the way she used that giant sniper rifle, which is why I lead into this article with a picture of her holding that giant sniper rifle in her most capable of hands. What  a dream she is in these films. I also enjoyed Brian Cox’s cameo and Byung-Hun Lee had a crazy cool fight scene that reminded me of classic Jackie Chan, down to the props used and everything. Malkovich’s spaz of a character is still nuts and funny and Hopkins also makes for a crazy scientist, as well. Mary-Louis Parker is a ditz but has learned a thing or two from hanging around Frank and his dangerous world. Catherine Zeta-Jones was also a sight for sore eyes but just a tad superficial in her role as the mysterious Katja. I do like saying Katja and like when others say it. KAT-YA.

Red 2 is a lesser film than its predecessor but that’s how it goes I guess. I wouldn’t say that the entire stellar cast was squandered but this film does not make the greatest use of their combined talents and  efforts. It was a very “meh” of a film, unfortunately.

 

Red 2 - www.whysoblu.com

Video 

Red 2 is presented in 1080p, 2.40:1 widescreen. Red 2 looks pretty freakin’ amazing on the Blu-ray format. Flesh tones are obscenely natural looking with none of the cast members ever looking sickly or pasty. The colors leap out in full force without ever banding. Black crush is absent as are any contrast fluctuations. I did not encounter any issues with noise or anomalies or sharpness inconsistencies. Lionsgate continues to hit these latest Blu-ray releases out of the park, with their stellar video presentations. Kudos to those involved!

Red 2 - www.whysoblu.com

Audio 

Red 2 is presented in DTS-HD MA 7.1. Again, this is a DEMO-worthy Blu-ray. Dialogue is rich, clear, and stable. You’ll hear every whisper, grunt, scream, and curse word loud and positively clear. Gunfire, explosions, hand grenades, car crashed, thermo-nuclear explosions come through with such clarity that I thought I was tagging along for the ride – I could feel the rumble and shock waves envelop me. It’s a very impressive lossless soundtrack presentation – this is what the Blu-ray format is all about!

Red 2 - www.whysoblu.com

Extras  

Unfortunately the extras on this Blu-ray leave much to be desired. We get standard featurette that has the cast and crew commenting on the film. It’s the usual talking head “I thought the script was great” blah, blah, blah. Been there, done that. A blooper/gag reel is included and I have to say it’s actually better than the film itself. They drop more F-bombs in the gag reel than they did in the entire film. Granted, it’s a PG-13 film but still. The bloopers are cool. Deleted scenes are included and it’s mostly of Helen Mirren trying to navigate through what appears to be a customs station – nothing special.

  • The Red 2 Experience
  • Gag Reel
  • Deleted Scenes

Red 2 - www.whysoblu.com

Summary 

Red 2 was the sequel that should have trumped the first film. Yes, there are one or two scenes of coolness, wit, and fun. The majority of the film is very “empty” and somewhat dull. I’m not a fan of seeing Bruce Willis sleepwalk through a role, because he makes for a very entertaining action hero. The fact is when you have a supporting cast that’s having more fun than their lead you know something is amiss. The technical specifications on this Blu-ray are phenomenal – it  has demo-worthy video and audio, with some lackluster special features that wrap it up. Stay for the gag reel, though. Red 2 obviously doesn’t hold a candle to the first film but if you’re really compelled to watch it then I would suggest renting it.

 

 

Order Red 2 on Blu-ray!

Red 2 - www.whysoblu.com

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Gerard Iribe is a writer/reviewer for Why So Blu?. He has also reviewed for other sites like DVD Talk, Project-Blu, and CHUD, but Why So Blu? is where the heart is. You can follow his incoherency on Twitter: @giribe

4 Responses to “Red 2 (Blu-ray Review)”


  1. Brian White

    This says it all “Bruce Willis aside from one scene in the entire film looks like he’s sleepwalking throughout the film.”

    So this film is no different than Die Hard 5?

    How pathetic. I wish the guy would just go away.

  2. Aaron Neuwirth

    I wish he would just stick to films he wanted to do and not make it so obvious when he goes for the money.

  3. Brandon Peters

    Agreed with what Aaron said. Love Bruce, just would love him to show up. Seems like he’s entering a Nicholas Cage-type phase (but with laziness instead of over the top crazy). For every 5 sleepwalking movies we’ll get 1 Looper.

    And…of the 3 films he was in last year, I thought this was the one he looked like he enjoyed sleepwalking through the most. He’s far worse in Die Hard 5 and GI Joe than he is here.

  4. Gerard Iribe

    I’ve yet to see DH5 and don’t think I will. Life is too short. This sequel just has an entertaining supporting cast that has to carry the entire thing. That’s why it feels uneven.