Despite being over-plotted and insanely complicated, the first Red film made a decent earning at the box office, hence the inevitable sequel, Red 2. Directed by Fun with Dick and Jane's' Dean Parisot, it regrettably offers too much of the same to stand alone as an engaging film.

Former CIA operative, Frank Moses (Willis), is living a life of peace and normality with girlfriend, Sarah Ross (Parker). He enjoys their mundane lifestyle, though Sarah is bored; the ex call-centre worker is having trouble adjusting to domestic life and is longing for the thrill and the excitement of Frank's former line of work.

Frank is soon thrown back into dangerous waters when they are approached by Frank's eccentric best friend and fellow operative, Marvin Boggs (Malkovich). He informs them that during the WikiLeaks scandal, a secret government operation called 'Nightshade' had come to light and that he and other former operatives now on the FBI's most wanted list. 

Forced to leave their peaceful, suburban habitat, Frank, Sarah and Marvin set off on a globe-trotting trip in order to uncover the truth behind this long-forgotten mission. They soon encounter Frank's former protégé - who has now turned into a malicious assassin - Han Cho Bai (Lee) and partner in crime, Victoria (Mirren), who has been assigned to take him out. Frank's ex-girlfriend, Russian counter-intelligence agent Katja (Zeta Jones), also makes an appearance whilst Frank and the gang attempt to locate believed-to-be-dead physicist, Edward Bailey (Hopkins), who will be able to offer them much needed assistance.

It's a shame that Parisot and writers Jon and Eric Hoeber were seemingly unable to utilise the skills and amiability of its cast. The film is largely made up of poorly staged action sequences and diabolical dialogue. The group travelling from city to city, which includes Paris, London, Washington and Hong Kong, makes a refreshing change of pace but still doesn't add up to much.

However, older audiences will certainly get a kick out of seeing the returning veteran cast fighting off bad guys half their age. As the leader of the pack, Willis is likeable throughout and offers plenty of cheesy tongue-in-cheek one-liners. The scene-stealers of the previous film, Parker and Malkovich, also serve up plenty of entertainment, whilst the rest of the cast fade into the background, with the exception of the forever engaging Hopkins.

And so while seeing the likes of Willis, Malkovich and Mirren being somewhat goofy on-screen is watchable in itself, the Red franchise offers very little in the originality department; beyond the cast of Hollywood legends, there's really not very much going on.