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'Red 2' fits the bill for some couch bound fun

Rating:
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Health professionals across the globe have always deemed it so important for people to stay active in their golden years and to not let retirement mean total inactivity. "Red 2" reunites us with our favorite Retired Extremely Dangerous secret agents as they get together for another action romp that is at least as entertaining and fun as the first film.

Taking their relationship to the next level
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Retired black-ops CIA agent Frank Moses (Bruce Willis) reunites his unlikely team of elite operatives as they get drawn into a global quest to track down a missing portable nuclear device. To succeed, they'll need to survive an army of relentless assassins, ruthless terrorists and power-crazed government officials, all eager to get their hands on the next-generation weapon. The mission takes Frank and his motley crew to Paris, London and Moscow. Outgunned and outmanned, they have only their cunning wits, their old-school skills, and each other to rely on as they try to save the world and stay alive in the process.

Following many of the same beats that the original film did, "Red 2" is certainly a pleasant enough timewaster, however it is hardly anything that I would deem as vital viewing.

Director Dean Parisot takes over from Robert Schwentke and is a steady enough hand as the action and the narrative flow smoothly through out and while the visuals range from a little low budget to actually pretty decent it is at least a movie that will be unequivocally fun to watch. The writing team of Jon and Erich Hober return as the characters easily pick up where they left mixing a healthy blend of solid humor, including some fun self referential jabs that some of these actors take at past characters they have played. It all makes for a pleasant combination, granted there isn't anything in these stories that is really reinventing the cinematic wheel but there are some very good performances that put this over the top.

Bruce Willis and John Malkovich return as Frank Moses and Marvin Boggs respectively and pick up their sardonic banter almost immediately where they left off in the first film and they play off of one another with great results. The genuine surprise in this film is really the comedic work of Mary-Louise Parker. Whereas her Sarah actually wants a little danger and intrigue in her life, Frank just wants to settle down and keep the love of his life safe, she tears into the material with a manic abandon as someone jet setting around the world with spies might do and it just a blast to watch as you can tell she is having real fun with the material written for her. Helen Mirren along with a returning Brian Cox rounds out our heroes as the likes of Catherine Zeta Jones, Byung-hun Lee, Neal McDonough, David Thewlis and Anthony Hopkins overacting his butt off as a mad scientist all provide obstacles for our heroes and delivering varying degrees of fun at the end of the day.

Picture and quality on the Blu-Ray are just fine and the special features on the Blu-Ray include the "Red 2 Experience" behind the scenes documentary, a gag reel and deleted scenes.

When it comes down to it, "Red 2" isn't all that much different from the original film, and that's not necessarily a bad thing because while there are certainly better films to choose from and watch, not as many might be as fun as this was.

3 out of 5 stars.

"Red 2" is now available to rent on DVD & Blu-Ray from all major providers and you can also find it for purchase from retailers like HMV, iTunes and amazon.ca.

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