Tuesday, June 5, 2012
Movie Review: RED (2010)
A lighthearted romp with old spies reliving former glories, RED is entertaining, funny, loud, and almost instantly forgettable.
Moses takes refuge with Ross and reconnects with several fellow retired CIA colleagues: mentor Joe Matheson (Morgan Freeman), wacked-out conspiracy theorist Marvin Boggs (John Malkovich) and understated sharpshooter Victoria (Helen Mirren). With the help of the ancient CIA records keeper (Ernest Borgnine) and a former Russian foe (Brian Cox), they uncover an elaborate political plot to silence a reporter and all loose ends related to a botched 1980s secret mission in Guatemala involving the CIA and many dead civilians. Moses and his friends have to stay one step ahead of ambitious current CIA agent William Cooper (Karl Urban), while figuring out the shady role of their former colleague Alexander Dunning (Richard Dreyfuss).
Bruce Willis holds the action together with his weathered, seen-it-all-before grimace, poking fun at his overall screen persona as much as the character. Mary-Louise Parker is in the movie solely to provide a non-combatants perspective to the joyous mayhem, and she sparkles with a charming freshness, television's gain (The West Wing, Weeds) proving to be a significant loss for the world of film. While it is a remarkable pleasure to see Borgnine on the screen at the grand age of 93, the rest of the cast does not rise much above barely concealed comic stereotypes, with a gawky romance between the characters of Mirren and Cox only helping to trip up the frantic action.
RED has plenty of style, limited substance, and an abundance of attitude. It adds up to an easy couple of hours, with no aftertaste.
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