Posts Tagged ‘spy movie’

The retirees of ‘RED 2’ provide chuckles and thrills

July 25, 2013

By Matthew E. Milliken
MEMwrites.wordpress.com
July 25, 2013

RED 2 is an enjoyable but superficial romp that finally answers this inessential question: If you can’t have fun with the prospect of millions of innocent people being incinerated by a nuclear terrorist, what can you have fun with?

Director Dean Parisot’s sequel centers on retired/extremely dangerous — RED, get it?! — American secret agent Frank Moses. He finds himself unwillingly dragged out of a quiet retirement, along with his action-hungry girlfriend, Sarah, when officials suddenly begin asking questions about one Operation Nightshade. The pair join with Moses’ eccentric former partner, Marvin, to figure out why a botched long-ago operation in Russia has become newly relevant.

The fast-paced RED 2 sends the group to Paris, London and Moscow as they go about unraveling the mystery. Along the way, they tangle with Jack Horton, a murderous American officer who’s determined to keep Nightshade buried; Katja, a Russian frenemy whose old romance with Moses fuels an intense jealousy in Sarah; a retired British agent named Victoria who has been hired by MI-6 to kill her two former colleagues and friends; and Han Cho Bai, a deadly Korean mercenary with a grudge against Moses whom the Americans hire to assassinate Moses and Marvin. Read the rest of this entry »

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Double-Oh-Seven hits the mark — again — in Daniel Craig’s third Bond outing

November 17, 2012

Director Sam Mendes’ new feature, Skyfallis a solid-verging-on-spectacular outing by everyone’s favorite 50-year-old British spy.

Actor Daniel Craig returns for his third outing as James Bond. Just as importantly, so does the writing duo of Neal Purvis and Robert Wade, who co-authored the scripts for the excellent Casino Royale (2006) and the fun but not quite as good Quantum of Solace (2008), Craig’s first two go-arounds as secret agent 007. The third member of Skyfall’s screenwriting triumvirate is John Logan, replacing Paul Haggis, who co-wrote the previous two Bond films.

The cinematography and the stunts are spectacular, the cast is easy on the eyes but fully capable of conveying human emotions when called upon to do so, and the plot is hard-driving. The overall tone remains hard-nosed, but there’s room for a few touches of humor as well as vulnerability on the part of both Bond and his unsentimental spymaster. Judi Dench reprises her role as M, the MI6 head, in what may be one of her last appearances due to her advanced age and uncertain health.

Javier Bardem makes a relatively late entrance as the requisite super-villain, a slightly campy but nonetheless menacing character with bleached-blond hair and unfortunate dental issues named Silva. The top-notch cast also features Ralph Fiennes as Gareth Mallory, a government official whose oversight M and Bond both quickly come to loathe; Naomie Harris as a spy whose ability, looks and style rival Bond’s; Albert Finney as Kincade, an old acquaintance of Bond’s; and Ben Whishaw as the young, new, quirky and occasionally impertinent quartermaster, Q.

The players also include Bérénice Lim Marlohe as a Bond girl (although this new trio of Bond pictures has manipulated that archetype in interesting ways); Rory Kinnear as M’s aide de camp, Tanner; and Bill Buckhurst in a short but moving cameo as a Bond compatriot.

The action takes place in Istanbul, Shanghai, Macao and the United Kingdom, all of which appear absolutely gorgeous as lensed by Mendes and cinematographer Roger Deakins. (I watched the film on an IMAX screen, and everything looked wonderful.)

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