Sunday, 4 August 2013

Review: Red 2

World of Blackout Film Review

Red 2 Poster

Red 2
Cert: 12A / 116 mins / Dir. Dean Parisot

I'm not sure how they've managed it, but Summit Entertainment and DC have pooled resources to create a two hour slew of car-chases, shoot-outs and bomb-countdowns, which is also one of the dullest things I've seen in a long old time. As slick as the fight choreography and stunt driving are, there's a palpable lack of excitement throughout, and it's not helped by a script which feels like it has been lifted directly from the comic version*1. A lot of the delivery is fine, but the timing seems to have been destroyed by the edit; and jokes which work in the trailer are left floundering in awkward silences in the final movie*2.

I suspect it's this same edit which is responsible for so many of the action scenes falling flat, too. The screenplay takes us from country to country, set-piece to set-piece, and plot-twist to unremarkable plot-twist with no real care in telling the actual story. And there is a story there; It's nowhere near as convoluted as the movie would have you believe, and it should be far more fun than it is. For the record, I rather enjoyed the first movie, but there seems to be a lot missing this time round.

The ensemble cast jostle for position from time to time, but are generally on very good form, and at least play it like they mean it*3. Welcome additions in the smaller roles include David Thewlis, Brian Cox and Neal McDonough (who are nonetheless reduced to one-dimensional snapshots). With more focus in post-production, Mirren and Hopkins could well have saved this.

I really did want to like Red 2 more, but there's a far better film to be made from this.

Is the trailer representative of the film?
No. It's a lot tighter for a start.

Did I laugh, cry, gasp and sigh when I was supposed to?
Sadly, not.

Does it achieve what it sets out to do?

Pay at the cinema, Rent on DVD or just wait for it to be on the telly?
The explosions and chases look nice on the big screen, but you'll not lose much by watching it on DVD/BLU.

Will I think less of you if we disagree about how good/bad this film is?

Will I watch it again?
Only if I watch 1 and 2 back to back in preparation for 3..

Is there a Wilhelm Scream?
Not that I heard. I mean, come on.

And because you won't be happy until I've given it a score...

And my question for YOU is…
It's not just me, is it? Is it me?

*1 I know that 22 pages limit the amount of dialogue you can realistically work with. 116 minutes do not.
*2 The most awkward of which were in the cinema itself, as the audience sat silently through 90% of the verbal quips.
*3 With the honourable exception of Mr Willis, who's on a strict auto-pilot. Yes, I know that'll surprise you.

• ^^^ That's dry, British humour, and most likely sarcasm or facetiousness.
• Yen's blog contains harsh language and even harsher notions of propriety. Reader discretion is advised.
• This is a personal blog. The views and opinions expressed here represent my own thoughts (at the time of writing) and not those of the people, institutions or organisations that I may or may not be related with unless stated explicitly.

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