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(Disappointing sequel)

We were so looking forward to the “RED” sequel...and we were so disappointed.

“RED” was downright funny. Taking a bunch of retired bad guys and putting them in danger made for an original approach to the familiar spy/caper theme.

The gang comes out of retirement, and they are still extremely dangerous – to others and themselves – but there is little, if any, reference to their ages. The writers have come up with situations that actors of any age could have been involved in.

Bruce Willis is back as Frank, happily out of the assassin business and hooked up with Sarah, a much younger spaceshot (Mary Louise Parker). His old buddy (John Malkovich) tracks him down, fakes his own death, then convinces him to find the source of “Nightshade,” a secret plan to destroy the earth.

The complicated plot has Sarah tagging along with them as they go from New Jersey to Paris and Russia and London to track down a scientist (Anthony Hopkins), who has been imprisoned for 26 years. Along the way a variety of people are trying to kill them, while others try to help them. Who’s who is not always clear in this convoluted story.

There are funny moments but not enough, as the writers make the sequel more of an action movie than a spoof. Car chases, bullets flying, narrow escapes and lots of killings detract from the fun of watching senior citizens save the day.

Malkovich is the funniest of the group, getting laughs with his facial expressions and double takes. Helen Mirren and Catherine Zeta-Jones are back and as good as ever.

What you get is just another action movie, which is nowhere as good as the original. Costco and Papa Johns should have paid through the nose for the advertising they get.

Rated PG-13, with lots of violence and some profanity.


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