February 14, 2013
Red 2 In The Works
Robert Schwentke’s writing saw the death of Morgan Freeman in the previous installment in the series. Why would he even bother bringing a sequel to the table?
Red was a surprisingly fun experience. Surprising, because I always thought Bruce Willis’ fuse as an action star had blown out back when Live Free or Die Hard was released. But he’s proven to me that action stars can defy the mechanics of old age when a decent script and enough falling sequences are presented in a preview.
Seriously, he falls a lot in his movies.
However, owing to his gravity escapades, and despite my lack of respect for Willis, I decided to watch Red and was sucked into two hours of entertaining gun play. In spite of my pessimistic expectations of 50+ year old action stars, Red was a surprise. With the ridiculous and unimaginative action flicks that Hollywood continuously poops out, the word surprise is a surprise in itself for me.
The term “RED” in the movie refers to the acronym of the same name that means “Retired, Extremely Dangerous.” That premise brings to light what the producers must have been thinking when the movie pitch was offered; we can’t find new action stars like Bruce Willis and Jon Malcovich, but can we bring them back to milk more money from action buffs? This aspect ultimately works regardless of its shortcomings, which is saying a lot when placed alongside other action movies with virtually no originality.
Brings new definition to the term Badass, doesn’t it?
The demographic of the audience that made Red such a box office success was mostly comprised of older gentleman and young adults. In this way, Red was a flagging box office success that showed how different social demographics of people have changed in the past twenty years. Since the 80’s, action stars like Sylvester Stallone, Bruce Willis, and even Chuck Norris, have been the founding fathers for high octane movie experiences. (For all intents and purposes, we’ll exclude Clint Eastwood from the roster.)
An age demographics revolution, that in itself mirrors society; Red shows us that our acceptance of older icons gives more opportunities to older actors that aren’t traditionally viewed as athletic.
Red 2 will be arriving much sooner than we’d originally anticipated, as the original cast will be reprising their roles in the sequel. I’m very excited to see John Malcovich make a return as Marvin Boggs, a former Black Ops agent and conspiracy theorist. His performance in the first movie amounted to a level of fun that I didn’t think he had very much potential for. His distinct voice and physical stature make him the ideal type cast actor for a serial killer; even his previous experience in Warm Bodies sent chills down my arms.
Years ago, he did In the Line of Fire with Clint Eastwood, which showed a performance that I think highlighted his skill as an actor in a big way. He was creepy then, just as he is creepy now; but back then, I believed he had a lot more to prove because of his age.
What disappointed me about Red was the lack of spotlight on Brian Cox, whom I consider to be one of the greatest performance actors of all time. His skill is most prominent in his voice, which again, I am surprised to see hasn’t been put to use for voice acting.
Mary-Louise Parker’s character as Sarah Ross made the experience of watching the movie a chore, as I often considered her a quirky comic relief. As an audience member, you’ll need that comic relief when viewing the violent and dark moments of Red, even if the jokes seem outright desperate at times.
Normally a sequel to any one hit wonder such as Red is generally frowned upon by me. If that film could entice my interests, then I have nothing but excitement for another round of Brian Cox awesomeness.
Let’s hope that Red 2 will be just as fun and hilarious as its predecessor!
Image Credit: Summit Entertainment