October 28, 2010

RED - 2010

Director: Robert Schwentke
Writers: Jon & Eric Hoeber
Starring: Bruce Willis, John Malkovich, Morgan Freeman, Helen Mirren, Karl Urban

When a team of assassins appears under cover of night at the home of ex-CIA assassin Frank Moses (Willis), he does the only thing he can do: fight back, and proceed to get his old team back together, as they may also be under siege from this mysterious threat.
Earlier this year, filmgoers were treated to The Losers, another over-the-top graphic novel-based action/comedy, which (in my opinion) failed miserably. Going into the theater for this, I was ready for RED to take up that mantle as a shining example of what could have been. Unfortunately, this one falls short too, although it's nowhere near as bad as Losers. While quick to establish a premise, the movie spends nearly half its duration merely getting its four protagonists united. There also seemed to be a bit of a lack of character development. Now, I understand that they're all supposed to be ex-CIA, and at one point Willis's character's 99% redacted personnel file is shown, but knowing why the characters are the way they are and how they got there is an important part of any good script. Bruce Willis can kick just as much ass as he did in the first Die Hard, Helen Mirren is stellar as the long-range weapons master, and John Malkovich is a laugh and a half as the paranoid-because-the-govenment-gave-him-LSD-for-11-years guy. I wouldn't say it's a film you need to see in theaters, but definitely give it a chance when the DVD hits shelves. C

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