Red directed by Robert Schwentke— A fun, entertaining, action packed film. Adapted from the DC comic book “Red”, this film is written with a great comedic flair. The story is about four ex-CIA agents, Frank Moses (Bruce Willis), Joe Matheson (Morgan Freeman), Marvin Boggs (John Malkovich), and Victoria (Helen Mirren). Along for the ride is Sarah Ross (Mary Louise Parker) who plays the love interest of Frank Moses. The conflict in this film is that someone in the CIA put out a hit list and these four are on it. They first break into Langley and find out who it is that is trying to kill them. Mixed in the chaos is William Cooper (Karl Urban) who plays the agent after these Retired and Extremely Dangerous agents. Also along for the ride is Ivan Simanov (Brian Cox) who plays a Russian secret agent and as we find out later in the film Victoria’s true love. In the end, the good guys always prevail.
The story was a classic outline of how all ex-CIA agent movies are told. You’ve heard this story before, sure it has certain tweaks, but the actual rough outline is nothing new. What is new and exciting is the acting. In every new scene there seemed to be a new actor with quite a resume under their belt. Usually movies with too much talent seem to fall to the wayside because of the bubble of egos, but not Red. The action and comedy ran high in Red. It was mix of Lethal Weapon, Die Hard, and Oceans 11 reinvented and wrapped up in a new package.
Let’s start with the cast in no particular order. Bruce Willis is yummy as always. This man to me is the definition of what a man is. He has that beautiful frown that he does along with that smirk of a smile that makes you blush. He is on the top 10 list of best action stars in my book. He gets beat up but always comes back up for the kill. He does the “Hero” role well.The writing was superb but Willis’ delivery made the script stick.
Morgan Freeman…. How can you not love this man’s presence? His voice is creamy and soft on the ears. He really brought intelligence to the team of characters. I would like to know which maybe a sequel could help me understand is, Is he really dead?
Then comes in good ol’ John Malkovich. His psychotic behavior, sway of a walk, and clever facial expressions has always won me over. In most all of his films, he leaves me with a feeling of “Wow, what a great actor he is” but also with “Haven’t I seen his face on an America’s Most Wanted poster or in the Post Office?” He is so creepy and yet it is sooo good.
I think my love for Helen Mirren started when I saw The Queen. I thought she did an excellent job. But then about a few weeks went by and I saw a picture of Mirren in the French Riviera in a red bikini and I thought, “Damn, this woman is sizzling!!” Which then tells me that the makeup crew for The Queen did a stellar job on making Mirren look well you know…. Old. Then the next movie I saw her in was Shadowboxer. This movie was filmed prior to The Queen, but because of the sequence that I saw them in, I was more impressed with Mirren. Who knew she was such a fox. She plays an assassin in the film along with Cuba Gooding Jr. The sex scenes were steamy so I was kind of hooked that she could be prim and proper in one film and so saucy in another. In any case, Mirren kicks major ass inRed. Perhaps it’s her British accent that makes her such a contradiction to a woman that is holding a machine gun that makes her so entertaining in this film.
The casting I thought was stellar because the chemistry that all these characters had with one another. No one seemed out of place. Mary Louise Parker was a great choice for the love interest of Moses. I haven’t seen her in this type of movie before and she did great. Her quirkiness, crooked smile, and girl next door beauty made her sexy and interesting to watch.
Another great catch is Brian Cox. When he first comes on screen as the Russian secret agent I got extremely excited because I’m a huge fan of his work. He has quite the resume, but most people will remember him from the Bourne series of movies. But for me I remember him as Dr. Hannibal Lector in Red Dragon. Before Sir Anthony Hopkins there was Cox. He played a Great Russian in this film or at least what a Hollywood stereotype of a Russian is. Vodka, lots of hair on the face, conniving, and of course a Casanova to Mirren’s Monroe.
The next actor caught me off guard, because I haven’t seen him in many films, but when I have his face resonates with me. Karl Urban. If you don’t know who he is, the most prominent character I can think of is his character of Eomer in the The Lord of the Rings, Bones in Star Trek, or maybe you remember him as Kirill in The Bourne Supremacy. Either way, he is stunning to look at and I hope this is a start to more lead roles in his future.
There were so many more actors in this film but these just listed are just a few that caught my eye. Oh wait, there was one more…. Richard Dreyfuss. Where the heck have you been? We all know who he is, but I haven’t seen him do a successful movie in a long time.
All in all, the movie was a great break from reality. I would like to say that Makeup did a wonderful job. We all know that these actors are getting…well… you know… older. And yet all the characters looked their best. I think having a tan is key, because Dreyfuss definitely did not look like the Dreyfuss I know. Mirren is beautiful, but they sure did bring out her best attributes. Another bonus in this film was the speed of the action sequences. There was one scene where as Willis’ car is spinning in an intersection he steps out so slyly and starts shooting his gun at his pursuer. It was a great effect. There were some slow parts where they could have quickened the pace on the story line but because the acting was done so well, I didn’t care. I liked the happy ending, and I would definitely buy this movie when it comes out. What I do want to know is if there will be a sequel. I’m always wary of sequels, but I think with Robert Schwentke’s touch it would be a huge success. Go out and see the film. It will not offer you the answer to life’s questions, but it will give you 2 hours of energizing action. I promise you.