Red – A Review by Film Nerd

Director: Robert Schwenke

Cast: Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman, John Malkovich, Helen Mirren, Mary Louise Parker, Karl Urban, Richard Dreyfuss, Brian Cox, Julian McMahon

Synopsis: Frank Moses (Willis) is a retired man whose ordinary days are punctuated by phone calls to his case officer Sarah (Parker) at pensioner services.   However, there is much more to Moses, being a former CIA agent, labelled RED (Retired, Extremely Dangerous).   When the CIA seeks to kill him to prevent the release of secrets he knows, he pulls together a group of his old colleagues (and Sarah) to get to the truth.

 

A review by Film Nerd.

There are those that suffer from comic book and graphic novel adaptations, and there are those that camp out at the cinema for the next release.   I am firmly in the latter camp, as many of my recent review would attest.   I am delighted to report that this is a good all round action film, and its comic book origins will not hinder enjoyment for the uninitiated.

This is unashamedly a popcorn flick.   Big explosions, frenetic action scenes, and everything served with a great big dollop of tongue in cheek.   Willis is in fine form, doing what he has been doing so well since the 80s.   As he also proved in Die Hard 4.0, he has not lost his edge, and paired with the right script his performances can be solid gold.   Freeman gets surprisingly little air time, but with a cast like this, someone had to get the short straw.   Malkovich is delightfully nuts, playing an agent whose mind is clearly addled by years of LSD.   Karl Urban is the agent on their trail, and after Lord of the Rings and Star Trek, he really is moving from strength to strength.   But really, if you have seen the trailer, there is one thing you are watching this movie for.   Helen Mirren firing an assortment of semi-automatic weapons.   Yes, Her Majesty is packing heat, and she is coming to get you!!

The action is well paced, the comic timing spot on.   Yet on top of all this, the leads all get fairly decent story arcs, which is not so common for a film like this.   Most surprising in this film is the romance between Frank and Sarah.   Often romance in this setting feels tacked on, and purely there for guys to convince their girlfriends to join them at the cinema.   Parker’s character is however neither a screaming damsel in distress, or an uber-hot action babe that could serve Frank his arse for breakfast.   She is just a normal woman, a product of the modern era, that is bored with her life, and Frank provides a change to her dull routine.   She embodies that guilty pleasure that a subset of the audience would feel if their own lives could be filled with so much action.   On the power of that performance alone, I am now very keen to investigate her highly regarded television series Weeds.

This fi9lm will not change your life, but it will give you entertainment.   As I said before, it is unashamedly a popcorn flick.   So grab a box of the salted and buttered, wash it down with a slurpy and don’t forget your choc-top either!!

4 stars (out of a possible 5)

 

Red on IMDB

Red on Rotten Tomatoes

Trailer [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ayFfMfN5AvE]

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