“Red 2,” the sequel to the surprisingly popular “Red,” is a retread of something that wasn’t quite worth treading in the first place. The novelty of the first film was that it was an international thriller shoot 'em-up peopled by senior citizen movie stars.
Many of them are back for more here, including Bruce Willis as retired black ops CIA agent Frank Moses, John Malkovich as his former sidekick Marvin, and Helen Mirren as sharpshooter extraordinaire Victoria. Anthony Hopkins turns up as a renegade weapons scientist who may know the whereabouts of a portable nuclear device, one of all too many MacGuffins in this mix.
Mary-Louise Parker is Frank’s ditsy love interest, and Catherine Zeta-Jones turns up as a Russian spy. Apparently nobody told her she should attempt a Russian accent. Korean martial arts movie star Byung-hun Lee, as the “world’s best contract killer,” has a nice scene in which he fends off an entire squadron of attackers in a convenience store while handcuffed to a glass display case.
It’s nice to see oldsters cavorting in kaboom movies, but a little of this stuff goes a long way. Grade: C+ (Rated PG-13 for pervasive action and violence including frenetic gunplay, and for some language and drug material.)