4-Color to 35-Millimeter: RED 2

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Bruce Willis, Mary-Louise Parker, John Malkovich, Helen Mirren, and Brian Cox are back. Karl Urban isn’t, but Neal McDonough will do in a pinch. Plus Sir Anthony Hopkins at his loopiest! Still, this sequel doesn’t quite live up to the joy of its predecessor. The great superhero movie rewatch looks at RED 2.

An excerpt:

Far worse is Horton, who is set up as the exact type of bad-ass operative that Karl Urban’s Cooper was in the first movie—and it’s the perfect role for Neal McDonough’s hard-faced deadpan—but then he’s taken out in half a second by Bailey. This violates the Second Rule of Bad-Assness: a bad-ass must be stopped in an appropriately bad-ass manner. (The First Rule is that a bad-ass can only be defeated by an equal or greater bad-ass. That rule, at least, is not violated, because Bailey proves to be a worthy adversary. It’s the method that falls down.) Worse, Horton is inexplicably spared by Bailey on the plane, so you figure the former will either get his revenge or be taken out in a huge manner—but no, Bailey later just stabs him, making you wonder why he kept him alive in the first place, beyond McDonough being in the opening credits, and therefore more important.

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