I had the pleasure of going to RED 2 the European Premiere last night.

To be honest I probably would not have gone to see the film if I had not been offered tickets…but who the hell am I to turn down FREE premier tickets.

First of all let me set the scene:

I had been working since 9 am and was dressed in skinny teal jeans and a cut out shoulder light green slouch top-perfect for informal work wear. I receive a last minute invite to the premier at 6 asking us to be seated at 6.30…are you kidding??? The worst bit is it said Dress Code: Dress to Kill! I had no time to change and no money to buy a new dress…what the hell did I do? So sheepishly I walk in to the long extended red carpet looking like the biggest prat in the world. Standing next to Helen Mirren who is dressed to the nines in a sparkling red dress and Bruce Willis in a black tie suit. I swear I was the only one of the guests who looked like I should have been standing with the fans behind the barriers. 

I finally take my seat in the cinema and tuck into my Sweet and Salty PopChips (the most disgusting and weird things I have ever tasted). I managed to drink two whole bottles of water just to get the taste out of my mouth. The poor people next door to me made it very clear that they did not know what to think of me…AT ALL!

I had not seen the original RED, so I was destined to be confused.

The story follows Sarah Ross (Mary-Louise Parker) and Frank Moses (Bruce Willis) trying to live a nice retired life away from crime and danger. Marvin Boggs (John Malkovich) approaches Frank and warns him about trouble to come. During a funny scene where Frank tries to cry during a speech at Marvins pretend Funeral, Frank gets arrested and interrogated by Jack Horton, MI6. Jack tells Frank that he is listed as a participant along with Marvin in a secret operation called Night Shade. Night Shade was an operation conducted in the Cold War to smuggle a Nuclear bomb created by Dr.Edward Bailey (Anthony Hopkins) into Russia. Frank then receives a phone call from Victoria (Helen Mirren) letting him know that she has been contracted by MI6 to kill him. Meanwhile Han-Jo Bae has also been given a contract to kill Frank. Frank, Sarah and Marvin go on the run….Did you catch all that?

I am not going to give all of the story a way, but whilst on the run they bump into Franks cryptonite (Catherine Zeta Jones) and amongst many car chases and fight scenes, they manage to get to the pshychiatric hospital holding Doctor Edward Bailey.

Helen Mirren is brilliant as the slightly pshycotic Victoria. The best scene is when she is in the bath pouring hydro chloric acid over her victims, whilst on the phone to Frank acting like a motherly figure. She displays the perfect amount of poise for the character allowing people to laugh at the things she does instead of at her. To be honest I think if the story was surrounding her character entirely, it would be a better film.

Mary Louise Parker is awful, her annoying accent with a touch of stupidity (airy-fairy) just cheapens the character. She only really grows into the role towards the end of the film when she starts becoming involved with the action. Her character is very unlikeable and gets on the nerves very quickly.

Catherine Zeta Jones plays the character of Katcha, a feisty european who has a weakness for Frank. Her make up and wardrobe is so bad that it makes her look slightly fat and extremely ugly. The hat she wears emphasizes her large facial features making her look bigger than she is. When she finally removes the hat and the frumpy clothing for a more of an action like costume- she looks brilliant. If only she had kept the latter throughout the film. Having considered this, I still would have picked her as a better lover for Frank, over Mary any day.

Anthony Hopkins as the supposedly mad Dr Edward is SUPERB. He plays the part with total conviction. There is no doubt in any of his films that he is totally believeable. He is such a great character actor and he really does the character proud.

Bruce Willis is…well… Bruce. He is the same in every film he is in. There is not much to say, total lack of likeability and definitely not a comedy actor, but fantastic for action.

The best bit of the film, by a mile, was the animation over the actual live action. If you did not know that it was a marvel comic originally, you will be left in no doubt by the occasional animated freeze frame of the characters. It gave the film a definite Sin City meets Superman feel.

To sum up: The film is good and has a stellar cast. Basing it on just this film, it defintiely gives off a scent of ‘sequel’. They are never as good as the first movie, so I would be intrigued to watch the original.

With a little fun combined with action it is perfectly alright, in the words of the characters it is:

‘Quite a good Shot!’




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