Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes
"RED 2" is a sequel that has some snappy interplay, typically courtesy of Malkovich, but mostly feels like a cast working to manufacture what came naturally the first time.
What's interesting about 'RED 2' is that, not only is it better than its predecessor, it is miles better ...
New York Times:
Cars careen, lazily written infiltration plans are executed, and the violence is plentiful and toothless.
Wall Street Journal:
Any movie that gives Helen Mirren a chance to shoot really big guns, wear an ermine astrakhan and channel Bette Davis as Queen Elizabeth can't be all bad, and "Red 2" isn't, though it comes close.
Passable summer entertainment - an Expendables with people who can act.
"Red 2" does have its share of surprises, and the biggest of these is how funny the picture is and how very much fun the actors in it seem to be having.
An obligatory sequel that can't quite recapture the sly, laid-back pleasures of its cheerfully ridiculous predecessor.
Like its predecessor, it's a one-joke movie; the difference is that this time around, the joke is better.
There is a fine line between silly dumb fun and out-and-out stupidity, and "Red 2" crosses it one time too many.
Ridiculously action-packed and just as endearing, Red 2 is why we go to sequels despite our well-earned cynicism about studios churning them out.
The best thing about RED 2, like its predecessor, is its lightness of tone. Too many movies with comic-book roots come on too seriously, even when the comics themselves have a loose, fast, jocular wit about them.
What was once engagingly silly is now much closer to insultingly dumb.
Not that it isn't entertaining, but the film's premise is certainly well past its "use by" date.
Los Angeles Times:
If everyone delivered their lines with the rat-a-tat-tat precision of Malkovich, Mirren and Hopkins, the studio might have had a better movie on its hands.
San Jose Mercury News:
Any good spy has to take risks to be successful. Too bad director Dean Parisot and his team didn't employ the same concept.
"RED 2" stands quite sturdily on its own as a caper comedy whose stars just happen to be approaching 50, 60 and even 70 years old.
New York Daily News:
It's never laugh-out-loud funny or inside-track smart, but in a summer full of bombastic failures, a lack of pretense is enough.
New York Post:
How bad could the boneyard be compared to sitting through this execrable piece of non-entertainment? Better dead than "RED 2."
Orange County Register:
This sequel to the action comedy about veteran espionage agents charging back into action lacks elegance and wit and is devoid of thrills, except for those brought by Byung-hun Lee as a Korean contract killer.
Enemies and allies have changed sides so many times so randomly, that you're not sure who's fighting whom or why. You just know they all look a little old to be engaged in this sort of reckless behavior.
Sitting through it is nowhere near as enjoyable as the experience of watching its predecessor.
San Francisco Chronicle:
This is a likable, almost gentle comedy and also a violent action film about the possibility of a nuclear bomb going off in a major city.
St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
"Red 2" is not just a bad movie, it's bad karma. And the target audience of adult moviegoers who respect the names in its once-vital cast have a bull's-eye on their collective cranium.
Willis is self-evidently capable of kicking the asses of men considerably younger than himself. But at some point shouldn't he consider an alternative pastime?
Globe and Mail:
It's quite possible that Helen Mirren has never had to speak such terrible dialogue in her life.
It often feels tired and by the book, missing the heart of the original in ways that can't be enlivened by any number of crazy lids on Marvin's addled cranium.
Ultimately, it's popcorn nihilism without the big laughs that helped distract from the casual approach to life and death in 'Red'.
As in the first film, the seasoned-pro cast provides the few fleeting pleasures to be found.
It should all be so much fun. But Red 2 just feels dutiful, as if it's relieved that all its parts somehow fit together properly.
Sequels are, for the most part, inherently stale, so it's no shock the luster has faded in "Red 2." The bigger surprise is just how clunky and unsatisfying this follow-up feels.
In a lackadaisical sequel no one asked for except perhaps his creditors, Bruce Willis seems unmotivated to smile at all, much less offer a series of emotions that constitute a believable or compelling performance.