Red 2 (film)

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Red 2
Theatrical release poster
Directed byDean Parisot
Screenplay byJon Hoeber
Erich Hoeber
Based on
Produced by
CinematographyEnrique Chediak
Edited byDon Zimmerman
Music byAlan Silvestri
Distributed bySummit Entertainment[1] (through Lionsgate[2])
Release date
  • July 19, 2013 (2013-07-19)
Running time
116 minutes[3]
CountryUnited States
Budget$84 million[2]
Box office$148.1 million[2]

Red 2 is a 2013 American action comedy film and sequel to the 2010 film Red. It was based on the limited comic book series of the same name, created by Warren Ellis and Cully Hamner, and published by the DC Comics imprint Homage. The film stars Bruce Willis, John Malkovich, Mary-Louise Parker, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Lee Byung-hun, Anthony Hopkins, and Helen Mirren, with Dean Parisot directing a screenplay by Jon and Erich Hoeber. Red 2 was released on July 19, 2013.


Three years after the events of the previous film, ex-CIA operative Frank Moses tries to lead a normal life with girlfriend Sarah Ross. He dismisses Marvin Boggs’ claims that enemies are still after them; Marvin drives off and his car explodes. Although Frank is unconvinced Marvin is dead, Sarah convinces him to attend Marvin's funeral where he delivers a tearful eulogy. Government agents interrogate Frank at an FBI Yankee White facility. Corrupt agent Jack Horton and a team of private military contractors ambush the facility; he threatens to torture Sarah until Frank gives him the information he needs. Frank evades Horton, and with the help of the still living Marvin, goes on the run with Sarah.

Marvin explains he and Frank have been targeted as members of Operation Nightshade, a clandestine operation during the Cold War to smuggle a nuclear weapon into Russia. Horton convinces international agencies that Frank and his associates are terrorists on the run. Frank’s old ally Victoria notifies him that she has been contracted by MI6 to kill the fugitives. Another top contract killer, Han Cho-Bai, is also hired, seeking revenge against Frank.

Frank, Marvin, and Sarah steal Han's plane and fly to Paris to find "The Frog", with the Americans and Han in pursuit. They are met by Katja Petrokovich, a Russian secret agent with whom Frank had a relationship, who is also investigating Nightshade. They interrogate the Frog and Sarah, hoping to one-up Katja, seduces him.

The Frog gives them the key to his security box, which Katja takes after drugging Frank; Marvin, anticipating her double-cross, provided Frank with a similar key to give her. Marvin, Frank, and Sarah search the box themselves and find documents pointing to physicist Dr. Edward Bailey as the creator of the Nightshade bomb. They discover Bailey is alive, held for thirty-two years in a maximum security asylum for the criminally insane in London. Victoria, alerted by Marvin, ambushes the trio, but helps fake their deaths and infiltrate the asylum. They find the hyperactive Bailey, incapacitated by mind-fogging drugs, and bring him to Marvin’s safehouse, where Bailey detoxes and remembers the location of the bomb.

In Moscow, Bailey concludes he hid the bomb in the Kremlin. There, the team locates the suitcase bomb, powered by red mercury. Katja stops them, but Frank persuades her to join their mission. They escape, but a call from Victoria, who has broken out of MI6 confinement for failing to kill him, reveals that Bailey was imprisoned because he wanted to detonate the bomb in Moscow. Holding Frank at gunpoint, the anti-Communist Bailey confirms Victoria's message, admitting he was the one who originally leaked word of Project Nightshade and made a deal to give Horton the bomb. He fatally shoots Katja, frames Frank, and leaves with the bomb. Horton reneges on their deal, intending to torture Bailey for all his secrets, but Bailey deploys a nerve gas and escapes to the Iranian embassy in London. In pursuit, Frank is attacked by Han. Reaching a standoff, Frank urges Han to join him in stopping Bailey; Han relents, and the five enact a plan to recapture the bomb.

Sarah seduces the Iranian ambassador and takes him hostage. Marvin poses as a potential defector, causing a diversion in the embassy that allows the team to enter disguised as plumbers. They learn the bomb’s location, but Bailey has already triggered the timer and killed Horton (revealing that he wants revenge upon the entire 'espionage community' for their roles in locking him up and apparently killing his family). Bailey takes Sarah hostage and flees to Han’s plane to escape the imminent explosion. Frank, Marvin, Victoria, and Han give chase, but Marvin’s attempts to disarm the suitcase bomb cause the timer to count down even faster. Frank boards the plane and confronts Bailey with the suitcase; he forces Frank to leave with Sarah and the suitcase. However, Frank reveals that he hid the bomb aboard the plane and confronted Bailey with the empty case, and the plane explodes as it takes off, killing Bailey. Han angrily demands $30 million for his plane and $20 million for not killing Frank.

The film ends as Sarah enjoys herself on a mission in Caracas with Frank and Marvin.



The Citroën 2CV driven by Mary-Louise Parker in the car chase.

In January 2011, Summit Entertainment rehired writers Jon and Erich Hoeber to write a second installment of Red due to the film's financial success, which even surpassed producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura's expectations.[4][5] Helen Mirren stated in March 2011 that she was ready for Red 2.[6] In October 2011, Summit announced that Red 2 would be released on August 2, 2013 and the film would "reunite the team of retired CIA operatives with some new friends as they use their 'old-school style' to take on new enemies in Europe."[7] In February 2012, Dean Parisot, best known for directing Galaxy Quest and Fun With Dick and Jane, entered final negotiations to direct the sequel.[8]

In May 2012, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Lee Byung-hun signed on to join the cast of Red 2.[9] Also in May, it was reported that Anthony Hopkins was up to appear in the film as the villain, Edward Bailey, if a scheduling conflict could be worked out with Thor: The Dark World.[10] In July 2012, Neal McDonough entered negotiations to join the cast of Red 2.[11]

In August 2012, it was announced that Red 2 would film in Montreal beginning in September. The city was selected because of a 25 percent tax credit offered by the province of Quebec and because of its resemblance to European cities (the film's settings include London, Paris and Moscow). It was also reported that following the Montreal shoot, the production would film in London even though Montreal doubled for London in some scenes.[12] In September 2012, David Thewlis joined the cast as a character called The Frog, an information dealer who got his name by poisoning the water supply at the Kremlin using a poisonous Amazonian frog.[13] Principal photography began in late September in Montreal.[14] In March 2013, Summit moved the film's release date from August 2, 2013 to July 19, 2013.[15]

The childhood photo of Han Cho-bai (Lee Byung-hun) and his father that appears in the film are actually photos of Lee with his late father, who died in 2000.[16][17] Lee's father was a fan of Hollywood films and dreamed of being an actor himself. When Lee shared this story with Dean Parisot, the director, he was so touched that he decided to include Lee's father at the end credits as one of the main cast, even though the photos appear only briefly in the film.[citation needed]


Box office[edit]

Red 2 opened on July 19, 2013, in North America. In its opening weekend, the film grossed $18.5 million and finished in fifth place, which was lower than the $21.8 million its predecessor earned in October 2010. According to exit polling, 67% of the audience was over 35 and 52% was male.[18] Red 2 grossed $53.3 million in North America and $94.8 million overseas for a total of $148.1 million worldwide.[2]

Critical response[edit]

On Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds a rating of 44% based on 154 reviews, with an average rating of 5.5/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "While it's still hard to argue with its impeccable cast or the fun they often seem to be having, Red 2 replaces much of the goofy fun of its predecessor with empty, over-the-top bombast."[19] On Metacritic, it has a weighted average score of 47 out of 100, based on reviews from 38 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[20] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "B+" on an A+ to F scale.[21][22]

Justin Chang of Variety called Red 2, "An obligatory sequel that can't quite recapture the sly, laid-back pleasures of its cheerfully ridiculous predecessor."[23] Todd Gilchrist of The Wrap said, " 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."[24] Justin Lowe of The Hollywood Reporter said, "Not that it isn’t entertaining, but the film's premise is certainly well past its 'use by' date, resulting in another passably palatable sequel distinguished by a lack of narrative and stylistic coherence that could potentially underpin a really viable franchise."[25] Betsy Sharkey of Los Angeles Times said, "No doubt the hope was that Dean Parisot could do to the action genre what he did to the Star Trek universe in the spot-on satire of 1999's Galaxy Quest. He has, and he hasn't. Red 2 is much more of a mixed bag than it should have been."[26] Nicolas Rapold of The New York Times said, "Cars careen, lazily written infiltration plans are executed, and the violence is plentiful and toothless."[27]


At the 40th People's Choice Awards, Red 2 received a nomination for Favorite Thriller Movie.[28] Its teaser trailer was nominated for Best Comedy at the 2013 Golden Trailer Awards.[29]


In May 2013, Lionsgate re-signed Jon Hoeber and Erich Hoeber to write a third installment.[30] In 2015, NBC announced that they were developing a Red TV series with the Hoeber brothers, Lorenzo di Bonaventura, and Mark Vahradian.[31] However, no further information about the development has been announced and with Bruce Willis' retirement due to health issues in 2022, a third film is unlikely.


  1. ^ a b "RED 2 (2013)". AFI Catalog of Feature Films. Retrieved August 26, 2018.
  2. ^ a b c d "Red 2". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved July 19, 2013.
  3. ^ "RED 2 (12A)". British Board of Film Classification. July 9, 2013. Retrieved July 9, 2013.
  4. ^ Kit, Borys (November 17, 2011). "Summit Pulls the Trigger on 'RED' Sequel". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on October 26, 2012. Retrieved January 18, 2011.
  5. ^ Rosenberg, Adam (January 26, 2011). "'RED' Sequel Confirmed, Screenwriters Returning". MTV News. Viacom. Archived from the original on August 31, 2012. Retrieved January 26, 2011.
  6. ^ Warner, Kara (March 29, 2011). "Helen Mirren Says She's Ready For 'Red' Sequel: 'Just Get Me The Script'". MTV News. Viacom. Archived from the original on May 15, 2012. Retrieved May 11, 2012.
  7. ^ Wigler, Josh (October 26, 2011). "'Red 2' Targets August 2013 Release, Plot Revealed". MTV News. Viacom. Archived from the original on June 12, 2012. Retrieved May 11, 2012.
  8. ^ Kit, Borys (February 17, 2012). "'Red 2' to be Directed by Dean Parisot". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on May 2, 2012. Retrieved February 20, 2012.
  9. ^ Schwartz, Terri (May 11, 2012). "'Red 2' Adds Catherine Zeta-Jones, Byung-Hun Lee". MTV News. Viacom. Archived from the original on February 24, 2013. Retrieved May 11, 2012.
  10. ^ Fleming, Mike (May 24, 2012). "Anthony Hopkins Up For 'Red 2′ Villain; Can 'Thor' Sequel Dates Work?". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on May 26, 2012. Retrieved May 24, 2012.
  11. ^ Kroll, Justin (July 20, 2012). "Neal McDonough in talks for 'Red 2' role". Variety. Archived from the original on July 31, 2012. Retrieved July 22, 2012.
  12. ^ Kelly, Brendan (August 15, 2012). "Show Biz Chez Nous: Financial breaks helped Montreal see RED 2". Montreal Gazette. Archived from the original on October 2, 2012. Retrieved October 2, 2012.
  13. ^ Kit, Borys (September 7, 2012). "'Harry Potter' Actor Joining 'Red 2' (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on September 8, 2012. Retrieved September 8, 2012.
  14. ^ Flipponi, Pietro (September 30, 2012). "First Photos of Bruce Willis on the Set of RED 2". The Daily BLAM!. Archived from the original on May 21, 2013. Retrieved September 30, 2012.
  15. ^ Lesnick, Silas (March 11, 2013). "Summit Moves RED 2 Up to July 19". Superhero Hype. Archived from the original on March 13, 2013. Retrieved March 21, 2013.
  16. ^ Lee Byung Hun Says His Cursing in Korean for ′Red2′ was His Idea Archived July 20, 2013, at (2013-07-20). Retrieved on 2013-12-28.
  17. ^ Red 2 Exclusive: Byung-hun Lee on Breaking Big in America. Movie Fanatic. Retrieved on 2013-12-28.
  18. ^ Subers, Ray (July 21, 2013). "Weekend Report: 'Conjuring' Haunts First With Record Opening". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved July 22, 2013.
  19. ^ "Red 2 (2013)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango. Retrieved October 6, 2021.
  20. ^ "Red 2 Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved July 4, 2021.
  21. ^ Finke, Nikki (July 21, 2013). "#1 'The Conjuring' Scares Up $41.5M Weekend But Other New Films Sink Or Soft: 'R.I.P.D.', 'Turbo', 'Red 2', As Sizzling Summer Fizzles". a strong 'B+' CinemaScore so Friday's soft opening went up +11% on Saturday since more adults turned out due to good word of mouth
  22. ^ "CinemaScore".
  23. ^ Chang, Justin (July 15, 2013). "Film Review: 'Red 2'". Variety. Retrieved July 18, 2013.
  24. ^ Gilchrist, Todd (July 15, 2013). "'Red 2' Review: Bruce Willis Sequel Dies Hard, Lands With Dull Thud". The Wrap. Retrieved July 18, 2013.
  25. ^ Lowe, Justin (July 15, 2013). "Red 2: Film Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved July 18, 2013.
  26. ^ Sharkey, Betsy (July 18, 2013). "Review: Aging spies return for more AARP-style havoc in 'Red 2'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved July 19, 2013.
  27. ^ Rapold, Nicolas (July 18, 2013). "In 'RED 2,' Retired Special Ops Agents Can't Relax". The New York Times. Retrieved July 19, 2013.
  28. ^ "People's Choice Awards 2014: The winners list". Entertainment Weekly. January 8, 2014. Archived from the original on September 24, 2015. Retrieved May 24, 2023.
  29. ^ "Disney, Iron Man 3 Dominate 2013 Golden Trailer Awards". Deadline Hollywood. May 5, 2013. Archived from the original on August 31, 2014. Retrieved May 24, 2023.
  30. ^ 'Red 3' in the Works at Summit (Exclusive). (2013-05-17). Retrieved on 2013-12-28.
  31. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (August 14, 2015). "'Red' Movies Get NBC Series Adaptation". Deadline Hollywood.

External links[edit]