Great actors goofing around...and great fun for the audience
Oct 18, 2010
RED is the action-comedy about a small group of retired CIA field operatives (Retired, Extremely Dangerous…R.E.D.) who are targeted for elimination by nefarious government groups and must team up to fight off the threat and reveal the culprit.
RED is a silly but very fun movie. It is the sort of movie that would not work, however, if we didn't already have pretty strong impressions and feelings about its stars. If we didn't already think of Helen Mirren as the classy actress who won an Oscar for THE QUEEN…we wouldn't laugh simply at the sight of her wielding a machine gun. If we didn't mostly think of Morgan Freeman for playing God or the President or the silky-toned narrator of MARCH OF THE PENGUINS…we wouldn't chuckle at his antics. Quite frankly, if you enjoyed the trailers for RED, you'll enjoy the movie. They give you an almost complete sense of the tone of this film. If you thought the trailers looked merely silly and made you roll your eyes…then the movie will simply multiply that feeling.
Personally, I thought it was a lot of fun. The actors are clearly having a ball, and Bruce Willis (who doesn't really come across as old enough to be retired…especially when he can still win fistfights left and right) makes a good host. He's coasting here, but as movie-goers, we're so comfortable with Willis and his shaved head that it feels a little like we're just visiting an old friend. Mary Louise Parker (WEEDS) is his sort-of love interest, a call center worker he's been flirting with long distance but who now joins in on the escapades. She does a nice job evolving from meek to really enjoying the dangerous antics. Mirren and Freeman are fun. Brian Cox shows up as a retired Soviet agent, and he sparkles in his over-the-top accent. Richard Dreyfuss appears in a couple of scenes and chews scenery. You have to almost feel sorry for Karl Urban as the assassin on Willis' trail…he doesn't get to have much fun…but he acquits himself well. I can almost envision him doing well as the star of a straight-laced action series on CBS.
Best of all is the hilarious John Malkovich. He steals every scene he's in with amazing ease. As the craziest of the REDs, he gets to let his tendencies to overact mightily just run wild…and it all works. His facial expressions alone had the audience in stitches.
RED is not a classic film by any means. But I must say, the 110 minutes I spent with these guys was a complete, guilty-pleasure blast. Maybe I'm just the right age (46) to enjoy this particular cast goofing around…but I sure noticed a lot of happy looking teens and 20-somethings all around me. I think this film is set up to be a nice little hit (with room for sequels).
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I've got my own site, www.afilmcritic.com, on which I'm posting my reviews. I am 46 years old, married 25 years, two kids (23 & 18) and currently work in accounting/finance. I spent 15 years … more
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Frank Moses, a former black-ops CIA agent, is now living a quiet life. That is, until the day a hi-tech assassin shows up intent on killing him. With his secret identity compromised and his love interest in danger, Frank must reassemble his old team to figure out who is out to get them.
Based on the cult D.C. Comics graphic novels by Warren Ellis and Cully Hamner, RED is an action-comedy starring Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman, John Malkovich and Helen Mirren.
Frank (Bruce Willis), Joe (Morgan Freeman), Marvin (John Malkovich) and Victoria (Helen Mirren) used to be the CIAs top agents but the secrets they know just made them the Agencys top targets. Now framed for assassination, they must use all of their collective cunning, experience and teamwork to stay one step ahead of their deadly pursuers and stay alive. To stop the operation, the team embarks on an impossible, cross-country mission to break into the top-secret CIA headquarters, where they will uncover one of the biggest conspiracies and cover-ups in government history.