Saturday, February 18, 2012

News Commentary - By Grabthar's Hammer, Dean Parisot to helm Red 2!

One of the great mysteries over the last decade or so is deducing why Dean Parisot hasn't made a half-dozen more movies since 1999.  The guy's second film, Galaxy Quest, is not only one of the best comedies of the last twenty-years but remains the best Star Trek movie ever made, bar none (ironically, there were actually a few elements from said parody that were cribbed with a straight face in the 2009 J.J. Abrams reboot).  The film didn't become an out-and-out smash hit, partially due to a boycott of Dreamworks movies from Regal Cinemas at the time.  But his second film, the underrated and ahead-of-its-time Fun With Dick and Jane (yes, it's a remake, but its middle class family struggles with economic obsolescence was about three years two early) was the last live-action Jim Carrey film to crack $100 million in the US back in 2005.  And up until yesterday, Parisot has been relatively MIA.  Variety is reporting that Parisot has been hired to helm Red 2, the sequel to Summit Entertainment's surprisingly successful 'retired spies get back in the game' action comedy from late 2010.   

With a domestic gross of $90 million and a worldwide take of $199 million (off a $58 million budget), Red (review) stands as Summit Entertainment's biggest grosser outside of the Twilight Saga entries.  I liked the first Red, but it was a sloppily and disjointed picture, awkwardly combining 'gee wiz, the old guys can still kill people!' comedy with some pretty dark political subtexts.  The film prospered solely due to the strength of its cast, which featured Bruce Willis teaming up or sparring with Morgan Freeman, Brian Cox, John Malkovich, Helen Mirren, Mary Louise Parker, Richard Dreyfuss, Ernest Borgnine and Karl Urban.  For the sake of those who haven't seen Red, I won't reveal which characters may or may not be returning, but  getting such an accomplished director of large-scale action comedy aboard is a promising sign and cause for optimism that the second film will be a sharper, smoother, and just-plain better picture than the original.  Red 2 is slated for release on August 3rd, 2013 (oddly enough not August 16th, the spot occupied in 2010 and 2012 by that other aging action heroes franchise, The Expendables).  For a piece last year detailing which new cast members I'd like to see in a Red sequel, go HERE.

Scott Mendelson      


Emmeline said...

Scott, with regard to Safe House, you might like this interview ( to the director, Daniel Espinosa. I think the guy aimed at injecting a neo-realism feel to spy/action movies. I find his approach and his tempo interesting. I know that everybody thinks that the Bourne films are the ideal template, the mother of all spy/action movies, but I find them too sleek to be credible. I really loved Bourne 1 but found Bourne 2 so-so and Bourne 3 a no-no, probably due to saturation. I shall definitely abstain from Bourne-not-Bourne. As for the success of The Vow, it was entirely predictable: The Vow = The Notebook, Rachel McAdams, Valentine’s Day, pink poster. In dire straits people seek a diversion.

Scott Mendelson said...

I rather loathe The Bourne Ultimatum (it's a dumbed-down, audience-friendly remake of the second film), so by default, Safe House was a better picture. For the record, I no more expect every action picture to be compared to the Bourne series as I do every film involving young women to be compared to Twilight. My issues with Safe House were specifically related to the film itself, not how well it did or didn't emulate/compare to the likes of Bourne Identity or Casino Royale. But yes, thanks for the link, I will read that later tonight.


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