Created on Friday, 12 November 2010 16:16
Written by Samantha See
Film title "RED" stands for Retired and Extremely Dangerous but the film is much more goofy than it is gory. Based on Warren Ellis and Cully Hamner's graphic novel, RED is an action-comedy that pokes fun at the action genre and, at the same time, ponders upon the bittersweet frustrations of aging heros.
Lonely retired CIA agent Frank Moses (Bruce Willis) takes joy and comfort in help-desk operator Sarah's (Mary-Louise Parker) sweet voice, pretending not to have received the cheques for a chance to flirt with the lady. But his idle life does not last for long. Without warning, unknown assassins move in to wipe out the retired and extremely dangerous (RED) old hand. As Frank tries to make sense of who his enemies were, he rounds Sarah up for her safety and gathers his old troopers.
Here enters a good amount of energy, action and humour. First stop, meet Joe (Morgan Freeman) now cooped up in an old folk's home and spending his time ogling pretty nurses. Next, the trio finds crazy and homeless Marvin (John Malkovich) and Russian spy Ivan (Brian Cox) who clearly misses the "good" old days. Last but not the least, when not arranging flowers, Victoria (Helen Mirren) is a classy but cold assassin.
The "villain" in question would be younger CIA agent William Cooper (Karl Urban) and the motive for silencing the gang has to do with a secret mission in Guatemala several decades ago. In this aspect, RED could really do with a bigger, badder villain.
But despite the aging veterans, expect explosions, action and even a few cool moves including one where Willis smoothly and swiftly steps out of a spinning car. So, while not the best action-comedy ever, RED provides well-paced laughs and shines through with a formidable cast that made quite the difference.