I’m so looking forward to Red as much as I did with The Expendibles which did better than expected at the box office. Helen Mirren can do no wrong up against all that testosterone!
Red is another one of those fun action packed kickass movies that has stars from the 80′s and 90′s coming together. This time, the twist is with people like Helen Mirren playing against Bruce Willis, Mary-Louise Parker, Karl Urban, Morgan Freeman, John Malkovich, Brian Cox, Rebecca Pidgeon, Ernest Borgnine, Richard Dreyfuss and Julian McMahon. Best Action Movies Ever would’ve loved to have put that cast together, and it had to have been so much fun watching them in action. Helen Mirren handling a gun reminds us when she was in The Thief, The Cook, His Wife and Her Lover.
Here’s what Best Action Movies Ever can tell you about the film. Retired black-ops operative Frank Moses (Willis) lives in self-imposed suburban exile till two unrelated events happen: He takes a fancy to Sarah (Parker), a service rep at his pension firm, and he’s attacked in the middle of the night by a team of assassins. After dispatching his attackers, Frank takes it on the lam, bringing Sarah along for the ride. Yearning for exotic adventure, Sarah doesn’t mind the abduction once she realizes that Frank used to be the CIA’s most lethal and effective agent. While Frank and Sarah investigate why they’re being targeted, they’ve got to keep one step ahead of the tenacious Agent William Cooper (Karl Urban, who deserves his own action vehicle judging from his steely-eyed presence here).
One by one, Frank rounds up his veteran team of cohorts — Joe (Freeman), Marvin (Malkovich) and Victoria (Mirren). In between extended, generally unremarkable action sequences, they discover that the CIA — under orders from a presidential hopeful (McMahon) and a defense contractor (Dreyfuss) — is eliminating anyone with knowledge of a covert Central American massacre perpetrated decades ago. Frank and company are, of course, tops on their list.
All of these actors have their own style, and they bring it all to this film and it works brilliantly. Willis’ wry, stone-cold self-assurance pairs with Parker’s high-strung, neurotic charm for a blend that’s comically pleasing, even pleasant by action-movie standards. The same holds true for Morgan’s sage charisma mixing with Malkovich’s antics as a paranoid lunatic and Mirren’s icy British elegance.
The script is a big-screen adaptation of the DC Comics graphic-novel series. Director Robert Schwentke must be counting his lucky stars to have this cast who were able to transcend this so so script into something so much fun. Audiences will love seeing these amazing stars working so well together and riffing off each other that it might cause them to go back and look at their earlier work. Red made Best Action Movies Ever appreciate some of these stars again since they’ve kinda gotten some rust on their once gleaning careers.