Remember shoebox dioramas? The ones your 3rd grade teacher assigned you? The basic idea was that you’d take worn out old toys and cram them into a flimsy box with some hastily applied paint and decorations. Then you’d have to present it to people with the bare minimum of enthusiasm. Remember?
Yeah. Red 2 is the perfect cinematic rendition of that.
I sat earnestly through the beginning of this week’s press screening. I did my part with an open mind. Red wasn’t the worst movie I’d ever seen. Maybe they’d do something special in the sequel?
I took the whole thing with so much seriousness, I even shushed a pair of giggling girls behind me who were chatting through the pin-drop-quiet first act. ‘Look ladies, we’re in a movie theater, here. There’s a movie playing. Please be quiet,’ I said sternly. But by the time Mary-Louise Parker’s character, Mary-Louise Parker, told Catherine Zeta Jones’ character, Ms. Over-the-top Ambiguously-Ethnic Jones, to (and I’m quoting directly here) ‘Suck it,’ I was done. Just done. I don’t even remember how it ended.
That line right there was tacit permission for everyone everywhere to no longer give any number of flying shits about anything else that happened…in the theater or on the screen. Light a bonfire, sing a song, slap an old lady, even have a full blown conversation. If the filmmakers didn’t care, why should you?
There was, however, one and only one bright light in all of Red 2: John Horatio Malkovich. He should be sealed in Lucite and mounted on the US Capitol building, mostly so that he never does anything related to this franchise ever again. Ever. But not even his clever screwball antics could scrub the skidmarks out of this one. Were you really going to see it anyways?