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Movie Review: RED (October 15, 2010)

Director: Robert Schwentke
Screenplay: Jon Hoeber & Erich Hoeber
Release Date: October 15, side effects 2010
Actors: Bruce Willis, approved Morgan Freeman, cough Helen Mirren, Mary Louise Parker, Karl Urban, John Malkovich, Richard Dreyfuss, Ernest Borgnine
Based on the graphic novel of the same name

Like action movies? Like funny movies? What about funny action movies? Then RED is the perfect movie, even for a pick-me-upper. Though movies such as The A-Team, or The Losers were somewhat funny action movies, in comparison, RED is a movie that a family might be able to enjoy. And though there clearly is some violence, it is nothing as harsh as what The A-Team or The Losers had to offer. Those movies were directed more towards those who enjoy action movies, whereas I think RED is a movie for everyone (just not for those young’uns).

What makes RED different? Well, Helen Mirren, for one. We’re typically used to seeing Helen Mirren in classic, period, or serious dramatic roles. Or at least, none that included Helen Mirren carrying some heavy duty machinery. Here we see Helen Mirren as a lady with a lot of class… but who kills. The combination is enough to bring a smile to my face. What else makes RED worthwhile to see? Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman, and John Malkovich are three more reasons. With the combination of these accomplished actors on the big screen, kidding around with one another, playing retired CIA agents, it would be hard for RED to be a complete failure.

Seeing a few sneak peaks at Comic Con this past summer had RED landing on my must-see list for the Fall, and I would have to say that it did not disappoint. Let’s make it clear, for those who think RED sucks. Sure, it’s a simple plot. It’s nothing we haven’t seen before (kind of like The Losers, but… the members are older). There is no excellent acting here (though all very good, considering). However, RED is just pure fun, with a humor that could be appreciated by all. RED, stands for “Retired Extremely Dangerous”, in which Frank Moses (Bruce Willis), finds himself being in the uncomfortable position of having a target on his head. Frank is a retired CIA Black Ops agent, and he enlists his fellow retiree CIA friends (who are also in danger) to help him find out who has asked for his elimination. Without revealing too much, Karl Urban plays CIA agent William Cooper looking to track Moses down, while Mary Louise Parker plays the innocent but quirky Sarah Moss who Moses would call up about his retirement checks just to talk to her. Both were pretty good in their roles.

Some of the best lines are said by John Malkovich (who plays Marvin Boggs) plays crazy a little too well, but looks like he’s having fun playing the paranoid one of the bunch. (Perhaps this is why everyone wants to be John Malkovich).

I’m not sure how this compares to the graphic novels, but for someone who has had no prior knowledge of the graphic novels, RED was thoroughly entertaining, and I would definitely recommend it if you’re looking to be simply entertained. The main reason why it was so enjoyable was largely due to the excellent cast. If the characters had been played by anyone else than the above named, RED might have been a big fat flop.

Just a lot of fun! 3.5 Big Guns / 5 Big Guns

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