Based on the limited comic book series written by Warren Ellis and centers around Frank Moses (Willis), a former Black Ops agent who is in retirement. However, one night a group of assassins come into his house to kill him. He manages to escape (of course) and learns that himself and other retired members of the Black Ops are getting killed off. So what does he do? He gathers up his old team (consisting of Morgan Freeman, Helen Mirren, and John Malkovich) and decides to fight back.
The trailers that had come out for RED seemed promising to me, but I wasn’t really counting down the days until its release like with Harry Potter (33 Days to go!). Sure I thought it looked fun, but I didn’t feel I’d get anything else out of it. And I’m happy to report that it was a fun time.
Bruce Willis is awesome in this movie, and proves once again that no matter how old he’s gotten (he’s in his mid fifties I believe), he can still kick a lot of ass. John Malkovich steals the show as a crazy, paranoid, LSD-hit up retired Black Op, and is easily the film’s strongest point and most humorous point. There were a couple of scenes that kinda remind me of his character in Burn After Reading, which is a good thing. And Helen Mirren is actually really good in this film, though when is she not? And I’ll admit this, I kinda got turned on a bit by her. Sorry, but there is something about a woman with a .50 Caliber that’s…sexy…
And when there is action, its really good. I’m glad that the director managed to keep the camera straight during the action sequences and not have it shaking up and down, which ruins many action scenes for me (Michael Bay much?). There are some good action scenes, good for PG-13, and they do go into a bit of a comedic tone, which we will discuss later in the review.
As I said in the beginning of this review, I wasn’t expecting anything other than action and a couple of funny moments. But there’s actually a good story in this movie, especially when it comes to Karl Urban’s character. He starts off being a bit of a douchebag, but as the film goes along you learn more about him and seem to hate him less.
The only reason why I haven’t mentioned Morgan Freeman is because he was severely wasted. Sure he was good in the movie (he’s Morgan Freeman, what do you expect), but his character really had nothing to do. I wish they could have don’t more with him rather than just casting him because he’s Morgan Freeman.
As stated above, some of the action does get a little cartoony, and sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. There are times where we should be afraid for our characters and we aren’t because of the way the music is done or the action is choreographed. I know its supposed to be somewhat of a spoof, but it still bothered me in this film.
RED is not gonna be an Oscar contender, but it is definitely a fun time at the movies. The story brings more than I was expecting, Bruce Willis shows he can still kick some ass, John Malkovich was a laughing riot, and Helen Mirren was…well she had a .50 caliber, what more can I say? Could have used Morgan Freeman for more than a attraction, but overall the film succeeds in what it set out to do.