So far, the champion of the "Old-Timers with Guns" sub-genre is arguably RED, as opposed to either the first or second Expendables film. The 2010 action-comedy - based on a relatively obscure comic book written by Warren Ellis and illustrated by Cully Hammer - wasn't as popular at the box office as the first two installments in Sly Stallone's throwback action franchise, but RED was better-received overall and has already spawned one sequel (with a third installment in development).
RED 2 opens in theaters this summer, with Bruce Willis, John Malkovich and Helen Mirren all reprising their roles as retired (and extremely dangerous) black ops CIA agents who return to the field. Mary Louise-Parker is also back as Willis' girlfriend, while the new cast additions include Anthony Hopkins as an eccentric scientist and Catherine Zeta-Jones as an old acquaintance of Willis' character. Meanwhile, Byung-hun Lee (G.I. Joe: Retaliation) plays a whipper-snapper agent, who joins forces with the RED team to save the world.
The first two RED 2 TV spots highlight Willis, Malkovich and Mirren getting back to their old habits of kicking butt and taking names, with an emphasis on Mirren as Victoria. There is the concern that the RED sequel will try too hard to replicate the winning formula of its predecessor - with the overuse of supporting characters and running gags from the first movie - but it's hard to believe we'll tire of seeing Oscar-winning Dame Mirren being a badass onscreen anytime soon.
RED director Robert Schwentke ended up passing on the sequel to make R.I.P.D. instead, and was replaced at the helm by Dean Parisot (Galaxy Quest, Fun with Dick and Jane). The script was penned by RED screenwriting duo Erich and Jon Hoeber - who also wrote Battleship - but this round the pair devised an original story, as opposed to (loosely) basing the script on the RED comic book source material.
Parisot seems to be playing up the comedic elements inherent to the RED premise in the movie sequel, which is unsurprising given his previous directorial output. The first film had a beating heart, in terms of the characters and their relationships with one another; so, we'll keep our fingers crossed that RED 2 has an equally strong emotional core, to go along with the fun popcorn elements (see: winking comedy, stylish action and the seasoned cast having a good time.
RED 2 opens in U.S. theaters on July 19th, 2013.
Source: Summit Entertainment