Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Red [2010]

Director: Robert Schwentke
Cast: Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman, John Malkovich, Helen Mirren, Karl Urban, Richard Dreyfuss, Brian Cox
Genre: Action/Comedy
Rating: General
Comment: "Did not fully live up to its potential, but still a helluva lot better than most action movies nowadays..."

If there's one action star that truly dies hard (pun intended), it would definitely be Bruce Willis. Maybe this is just me being biased to one of my favourite actors, but I believe Bruce Willis can never be in too many action flicks even though he is fast approaching the big 6-0. However, what sets Red apart from a lot of the other action flicks in his resume is the fact that he is sharing screen time with a handful of very talented veteran actors. It may not seem like much for casual movie-goers, but one look at the cast made me cream in my pants.

Red begins rather slow, introducing us to Frank Moses (Bruce Willis) who is a decorated CIA agent coping with retirement. Just when he is beginning to accept this transition, danger comes knocking on his door; the agency he once served is now trying to kill him. Now on the run, he begins to travel across the country in search of answers. Along the way he gets in touch with his fellow retirees, with hilarious results.

I went to see this movie with some idea of what to expect, but for the most part I was mostly curious how are they going to max out the talent meter, because this movie has lots and lots of them. One actor in particular is Dame Helen Mirren. I am not that well-versed in her career as an actress, but I believe this is the first movie where she played a trigger-happy, gun-totting ex-MI6 agent. Needless to say, the little fanboy in me was immensely delighted to see an actor of such calibre not taking herself too seriously this time around and just having fun.

Speaking of which, the same goes to Morgan Freeman, Brian Cox, John Malkovich and Richard Dreyfuss (by the way, how on earth did they get Dreyfuss to sign up for this movie?! Huzzah!!)

In case you didn't know already, Red was said to be "loosely adapted" from the three-issue comic book of the same name. I don't have much to say on this aspect for this is one of those movies where it is easy to overlook the plot because it is just so entertaining.

However, that is not to say that it is not without flaw. Apparently having too much star power can also hurt the movie by not fully utilising their talents. One example in particular is Morgan Freeman, who was very much underused. I understand that this was meant to be one of those light-hearted action comedy flicks, therefore I am not taking any points away for this. It's just that, you can't help but feel like wanting more at the end of the movie. Perhaps a sequel is in order already? If it will continue to serve marvelous action sequences like the one below, I say bring on Red II!

Owh~♫ Hell yeah.

Points Calculation

The Good [+100]
- Great casting
- Malkovich is such a showstealer
- Refreshing action sequences
- Badass Helen Mirren

The Bad [-20]
- A bit derivative
- Plot is kinda unfocused

100 - 20 = 80 points

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