Review – RED


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REDGuest post by Brad Schenker reviewing the recently released movie RED.

RED is based on the cult Wildstorm/D.C. Comics graphic novel by Warren Ellis and Cully Hammer and stars Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman, John Malkovich, Helen Mirren and Mary-Louis ParkerRED stands for “Retired Extremely Dangerous” and is the story of retired CIA agents who are marked for assassination and must use all their ‘old’ skills to uncover a conspiracy that goes all the way to the highest levels of government.

Great cast and great story, problem was the only RED I was seeing was the financials this movie should have after its theatrical run.  Or the red roses I needed to buy my wife to make up for the misdirected choice on a rare date night.  Or the blood of my fellow audience members who slowly bled out after slitting their throats and wrists for putting themselves through what amounted to an assassination of their intelligence.

At times I thought I was watching a Coen Brothers movie with some smart dialogue, only to realize the movie had the following rhythm:

  • 3 lines of dialogue
  • Blow shit up
  • Show a postcard of the next city on this cross country journey

I enjoyed watching the actors on the screen when I should have enjoyed the characters they were playing.  I had no investment in any of them, even when one sacrificed themselves for the team or in the relationship between the characters portrayed by Bruce Willis and Mary-Louise Parker.   I wanted to see how Morgan Freeman’s 80-year-old character would kick ass, not look like an ass disguised as a military despot.  Though I will say, if the film makers come out with a sequel with just John Malkovich, I’ll be there, without my wife I am sure.

I liked the shout out to my hometown of Cleveland, Ohio and the handful of good action sequences, though all the fire balls looked like a middle school kid created them for his computer science project. If the filmmakers would have made RED rated R, they may have had something worthy of a sequel.  Instead, RED was like buying a bag of potato chips you are craving and opening it to find its all air except for the 8 smashed chips at the bottom.

Grade: C