For those who may have missed the trailer, RED is about four retired C.I.A. operatives trying to have a normal life yet find themselves missing the high impact adrenaline rush of their former employment. They get the chance to get back in action when the new generation of C.I.A. starts busting down their doors with machine guns in tow bringing all matters of chaos. However, the young pups soon learn the meaning of the term “RED”. (R)etired (E)xtremely (D)angerous.
The all star cast of veteran actors gave a performance worthy of their stature. As of late, Bruce Willis has been getting roles that were..let’s face it..duds. But RED seemed to have Willis as we know and love: the tough action guy with randomly funny, witty moments coupled with a trademark grin. Let’s not forget prim and proper Dame Helen Mirren weilding a .50 cal like it was child’s play in a fancy evening gown, or even John Malkovich chasing secret service men down the street screaming like a banshee with sticks of dynamite strapped to his chest. Although the entire cast was thoroughly enjoyable, a big hand goes to Malkovich for his brand of insane comic relief in this project. His character, Marvin Boggs, had several random scenes of hysterical lunacy attached to him. It is a nice relaxing blend of Action/Adventure, Comedy, and a little Romance thrown in between Frank Moses (Bruce Willis) and Sarah Ross (Mary-Louise Parker). It’s easy to see that the cast had a blast filming this project.
For such a great actor, Morgan Freeman seemed under utilized as Joe Matheson and did not have very many opportunities to shine. Apart from his opening scene which consisted of flirting with a nurse at the retirement home, he seemed little more than a sidekick. On a more positive note, some of the choreography for the action scenes were just simply..eye catching. For those who have not seen this film already, watch it for the fight scene between Frank Moses and William Cooper (Karl Urban) if not for any of the other aforementioned points.
Obviously, RED won’t win any awards (except for maybe a Razzie), and has seen some fairly unfavorable reviews from critics. The truth is it is not a serious contender, and I do not believe it was intended to be. However, it is a fun film to kick off the fall lineup after a not so impressive summer movie season and is worth at least a rental if not a theater visit. After all, some of the best films for a lazy Friday night at home when you just need a good belly laugh are not Oscar performances.