Bruce Willis, John Malkovich and Helen Mirren return for another go-round at the spies, guns and intrigue thing as the Retired Extremely Dangerous crew. Also back from the original: Mary-Louise Parker as civilian Sarah Ross.
As a follow-up to the 2010 surprise hit (which was itself based on the DC comic book), the sequel keeps the one-liners flowing and the Ocean's Thirteen vibe alive in an adventure that spans the globe. The plot concerns some device that threatens one of the world's biggest cities, but don't worry about it. Sibling screenwriters Jon and Erich Hoeber take their inspiration from the cheeky Roger Moore era of James Bond, so nothing's ever so dire that a funny quip by Mirren about weapons of mass destruction can't lighten the mood.
Joining in on the preposterous festivities is Catherine Zeta-Jones sporting a thick Russian accent, Byung Hun Lee as kick-butt assassin and—in the "Why Not?" category—Anthony Hopkins.
1. Willis Channels David Addison Jr. Less John McClane: In the first film, Willis' character, Frank Moses, was more serious and not that funny. Here, he doesn't want to let go of his newfound Costco lifestyle. Main squeeze Sara (Parker), however, is bored. Parker and Willis still generate lots of sparks, which makes the arrival of old flame Katja (Zeta-Jones) a kinky bonus. Seeing Willis undone by his female costars never wears thin.
2. Hello, Byung Hun Lee: As the world's best contract killer, Lee has the most intricate fight scenes, but his best moment is him in a robe with an origami offering. Oh, and he's shirtless.
3. Gals and Guns: We're anxious to see what Milla Jovovich brings to the Expendables party next year, but for now, Dame Mirren makes destruction bloody fun, while Zeta-Jones proves she woulda been a great Bond villain.
4. Hopkins Back in His Cell. In one of the film's best moments, Moses (Willis) and Victoria (Mirren) visit a maximum-security mental ward to get intel from a shady mad genius (Hopkins). Locked up tight, the former Oscar winner goes full-on bonkers—probably because this institution lacks fava beans and a nice Chianti.
5. Will the Gang Return for a Third? We Hope: The secret to the Red series success is seeing great, if serious-minded, thespians let loose. Malkovich's gadget-prone Marvin is the Elmer's Glue to the whole operation. We'll never tire of him spouting dialogue so silly we keep hoping Willis cracks up. Maybe in the next one…
Are you on board for more espionage? Sound off in the comments!