RED 2 kills it indeed…. Great action movie, with a deathcount as high as the amount of expended ammo delicately tinkling as it hits the ground.

Yes, yes, I know. Action movies are not supposed to even be in my demographic neighborhood. Yet I love them. Always have. Actually, the first one I fell in love with was The Long Kiss Goodnight, and I’ve been a fan ever since. It was the awesome scene with the big rig on its side, sliding toward kingdom come that hit me over the head with cool factor goodness.

When that was made, it was state of the art stunt FX. In RED 2 the state of the art stunt driving hit 21st century perfection…yet the century has just begun. I cannot wait to see what the next couple of decades bring to that particular industry. For now, Helen Mirren shooting from both windows of a gorgeous sports car driven by my new actor to watch, Lee Byunghun, in a slowmo death glide is as good as it gets…until they slide beneath a semi trailer…as they both careen along at breakneck speed. That stunning sequence is now my favorite movie scene in quite some time.

It was fun to see David Thewlis in a total change of pace from mostly gentle, subtle Hogwarts heartthrob, Professor Lupin. And I always find Bruce Willis characters to be enjoyable, the RED franchise’s Frank in particular (at least I hope that’s where this fun duo to date of movies is headed). Helen Mirren can, apparently, do anything. Anything at all. And exquisitely.

Of course, the reason I’ve been looking forward to this one is my favorite actor, Anthony Hopkins. No disappointment there. Is there ever? Not that I’ve encountered. Hopkins is an actor who can take simplicity and make it subtly complex, while complexity in his
hands becomes deceptively simple, as needed. In the case of RED 2’s Edward Bailey, just when I thought I completely understood him, I was abruptly brought to the realization that I hadn’t known him at all. That kind of about face is the product of a marriage between clever writing
and the kind of acting talent required to pull it off. When a character makes me feel sorry for him, then fear him in the space of two heartbeats, it’s the kind of blindsiding storytelling that makes moviegoing such a joy.

So, I really enjoyed RED 2. Ever since I became such an action movie fan, I’ve taken to watching big, blowuppy movies during holidays. I don’t care much for RomComs and most Christmas movies veer too far into that territory for my taste. White Christmas or RED 2? Tomato, tomahto. To each his own. I’m happy to sit down and fall into the fantasy world of a wonderful big, bad popcorn movie. As much as I enjoy Bing Crosby singing White Christmas in my favorite Christmas movie Holiday Inn, I’ve made a tradition of watching car crashes and exploding helicopters instead of poor Bing’s home canning experiments making a break for the ceiling.

Throw in sports cars, scenery of some of the world’s most beautiful cities, and Anthony Hopkins doing what only he does best…well, then…every time a car flips, a stuntdriver earns his pay. Or some other offbeat variation of It’s a Wonderful Life’s thematic uplifting sweetness. There’s room for all kinds of holiday tradition. Angel wings by the tree, or John Malkovitch trying his best to save the world yet again, and everything in between. It’s all good. RED 2 was fun and made me happy. Sounds like a good tradition to me.

RED 2 Official Trailer # 2

White Christmas from Holiday Inn 1942

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