After Red 2 enjoyed its star-studded premiere it's time to get down to the nitty-gritty of whether 2010's Red was deserving of a sequel or not. The Hollywood Reporter's Justin Lowe mulls over the highs and lows of the sharp new instalment of the crime comedy. With regards to the first film - where former black ops agent is forced back into action after his life is threatened by an assassin - THR doubts that Red 2 has "a whole lot new to offer" over the original premise.

Bruce Willis
Bruce Willis Back As Ex-Black Ops Guy Who Wants To Settle Into His Retirement In Peace.

Red 2 sees Frank Moses (Willis) trying to lead a normal life with his partner Sarah (Mary-Louise Parker) but is called out of retirement again by his paranoid chum Marvin (John Malkovich) who proposes a new mission - to find a nuclear device that's also being hunted out by the government, some terrorists and even some assassins.

Easy, right? However, the elegant and deadly Helen Mirren as an MI6 agent and best assassin in the business is on the prowl again, informing her friend Moses that she's been ordered to hunt and kill him as he organises a reunion with his hotch-potch band of other elite operatives. Willis and Malkovich's performances are praised, as the latter provides the contagiously crazy to the former's inept domesticity and all-out physicality.

Helen Mirren
Helen Mirren Enjoyed Her "Badass" Character Swap From The Queen.

Variety's Justin Chang find the movie, on balance, to be effective but lacking in the spark and visual style of the original Red, describing the action comedy as "an obligatory sequel that can't quite recapture the sly, laid-back pleasures of its cheerfully ridiculous predecessor." The film's globetrotting scenes are admired but a lack of chemistry between Mary-Louise Parker and rival love Catherine Zeta Jones is noted with dismay as the pair battle for Frank's affections.

Catherine Zeta Jones
Catherine Zeta Jones Wowed Fans In A Daring Black Lace Gown At The Premiere.

Not a sterling sequel it seems but a must for anyone who enjoys all-out ridiculous violence and action comedy quips. DO expect dark humour and outright hilarity as the unlikely team reassemble, also featuring an all-star cast Catherine Zeta Jones, Byung-hun Lee, Brian Cox and Anthony Hopkins. DON'T expect the Earth to move in cinematic awe or complex characterisation for the Dean Parisot-directed sequel.

Watch The Red 2 Trailer:

Red 2 will be released tomorrow (19th July) in the USA but UK Red fans will have to wait until 2nd August for their heroes' return.

John Malkovich
John Malkovich Does Crazy A Bit Too Well...

Byung-hun Lee
Byung-hun Lee: Back To Kick Some Ass In Red 2.

See More Photos From The Red 2 Premiere In Our Gallery