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The Warsaw Voice » World of Movies » August 29, 2013
Film review
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August 29, 2013   
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The secret agents are back out of retirement—again. The sequel to the 2010 action comedy RED is neither boring, nor does it offend viewers with over-the-top performances by A-list actors. And having seen the first part, viewers know better than to expect the plot to make much sense.

Retired Extremely Dangerous (RED) is how CIA insiders refer to agents whose best-by date was several decades ago. But you would be very wrong to think they are happily residing in nursing homes. On the contrary, they will jump at every opportunity to return to their old ways and show that they still have what it takes to kick some serious butt.

Ex-CIA agent and intelligence expert Frank Moses (Bruce Willis) does his best to live an ordinary life with his girlfriend Sarah (Mary Louise Parker—Weeds, Red Dragon, The Client). He carefully picks furniture for their yard, plans delicious meals and so on until Marvin Boggs (John Malkovich), an old colleague he hasn’t seen in a while, shows up in the neighborhood. Frank is desperate to stay out of trouble, but his neurotic—and that’s an understatement—former colleague will not give up so easily. “You haven’t killed anybody in MONTHS!” Marvin tells Frank in an accusatory voice, like a doctor reprimanding a patient. But some things you just cannot escape and a long-forgotten case resurfaces to haunt Marvin and Frank. Years ago, they took part in operation Nightshade, during which parts of a nuclear bomb were smuggled into the USSR. Based on Red Mercury, an undetectable substance, the deadly weapon was then reassembled, but nobody knows how or where. Nobody, that is, except for the bomb’s deranged designer, Prof. Bailey (Anthony Hopkins) who for 32 years has been locked up in a secret mental ward in London. It seems that all of a sudden, everybody is determined to track down the device, from Western secret services to the Revolutionary Guards from Iran.

This is where more familiar faces appear. Victoria (Helen Mirren—The Queen, The Last Station, National Treasure: Book of Secrets), a retired agent for Britain’s MI6, is ordered by her superiors to eliminate Frank. Predictably, she is not going to be particularly loyal or dedicated to doing the job well. Victoria once had a complicated affair with Ivan Simonov (Brian Cox—Troy, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, X-Men 2), a former intelligence officer at the Soviet embassy in Washington, D.C., and when Frank, Marvin and Victoria arrive in Russia, Ivan could not be happier about reuniting with his former sweetheart in his homeland. Finally, there is Katja (Catherine Zeta-Jones—Chicago, Traffic, Entrapment), a sultry Russian agent who once had a fling with Frank and is keen to use her ex-lover’s weak points to get hold of the bomb herself. All of the above mentioned are closely followed by a Korean paid assassin, considered the best in his trade, who has his own accounts to square with Frank.

The international squad of spies travels between the States, Paris, Moscow and London, leaving a trail of destruction and heaps of dead bodies behind. Everything ends well and the characters go on to live happily ever after... until the next time.
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