The diminished group element is particularly disappointing because there’s less time for Mirren, whose character is the most entertaining of the lot. Without question, the most memorable scene in “RED 2” has Mirren firing two guns out of the side windows on a car as the vehicle spins down the street. It’s this kind of brush with the absurd that made “RED” so much fun. But Parisot — who has been working as a TV director in recent years — stages the majority of the action scenes in a more mundane manor.
If there had been no “RED,” “RED 2” would not have been as disappointing. In the action movie genre, it hits — and blows up — all the right buttons. Because there was a “RED,” the potential of what the sequel could have been is very clear. It just doesn’t live up to the fun of the first.