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Red

a film by Robert Schwentke

One cannot really be expected to hone one's critical chops on a film such as Red. It is a fun movie indeed, but to go all analytical on its ass is probably more than is needed in this case. The story, adapted, as is en vogue this season, from yet another graphic novel, is about a retired CIA agent, played with the usual amount of zen-like, ass-kicking aplomb by Bruce Willis, who becomes the target of what could or could not be a nefarious plot to kill him. Plot twists and macguffins aside, the movie is pretty straight forward. No hidden meanings here, just balls-to-the-wall action, espionage from (near) beginning to end. Not really great but not altogether awful either. In fact, it's pretty damn fun if you ask me - and I suppose, in reading this, you did.

Willis is joined by fellow retired agents Morgan Freeman (who actually gets the least amount of cool stuff to do here, save for wearing his best Sgt. Pepper outfit), Helen Mirren (classy and at the same time wholly out of place - even though she is quite adept at urbane comedy) and a sublimely hilarious John Malkovich as a paranoid ex-agent who steals every scene he is in). Willis also drags along a reluctant and quite terrific Mary-Louise Parker (her sexy, almost orgasmic snarl, with her pixie-esque scrunched-up nose, at the mere mention of danger is a delight every damned time she does it). We also get the urbanely testosteroned Karl Urban as the CIA agent encumbered with the not-so-easy task of taking Willis' agent down for the proverbial count. WE also get Brian Cox as a love lorn ex-KGB-er and an ever-frisky Ernest Borgnine in a tiny but fun role.

Red (Retired, Extremely Dangerous btw) is not worth my time in criticizing it, but then I am quite sure it doesn't care if I do or not anyway. Of course none of this is meant as insult in any way - just pure obvious recognition of what the movie is. It is just one of those action thingees that one lets oneself fall into for an hour and fifty-one minutes or so, and come out on the other side having had a fun time, but otherwise pretty much unaffected. Still though, balls-to-the-wall fun. Balls-to-the-wall baby. [10/20/10]

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