RED (2010)

“This used to be a Gentleman’s game.”

Cast: Bruce Willis, Helen Mirren and Morgan Freeman

Now this looks like a fun reunion. Dangerous, but fun!

Bruce Willis is Frank Moses and RED, “Retired, Extremely Dangerous”. From being a black-ops CIA agent all his life to suddenly becoming a retired old man with no semblance of a life, Frank is completely at a loss, bored, lonely and not knowing what to fill his days with. Luckily, (I use that term loosely) he is thrown back into the heart of the action when he discovers he is the latest target in a series of assassinations.

With this Frank seeks help from the old gang, agents which include the likes of Morgan Freeman, John Malkovich and Helen Mirren – all of whom are equally as bored and reminiscent of their previous lives as hot black-ops CIA agents.

RED is undoubtedly implausible, yet still a fantastic concept for a film. While some, or maybe most of the events are highly unlikely, the cast of A listers that front this movie provide pure cinematic gold, and maybe just enough that we may start to disregard the stretching storyline.

For me, the star performers were Malkovich and Mirren, definitely the ones to watch amongst the array of goodies we’ve already been given. They gave great, strong performances with Malkovich adding some fantastic comic relief. He had some great one liners that made sure the film was still lively in dialogue, while Mirren was a total bad ass, not what you’d expect from someone that had just won an Oscar for portraying Queen Elizabeth ll.

In comparison I felt Willis didn’t really match the standard of either of these gems, instead I found him to be in the same karate-grandad-still-got-it role that I’ve seen in many of his other films. He didn’t break any walls and stayed within his comfort zone, though I guess this can be overlooked when you see the role Willis was put in. When sat in a film surrounded by such an abundance of great actors though, it’s easy to be swallowed and forgotten about when the film ends and in that respect, I expected some sort of new fire from him. As for Freeman, he was kind of stuck between both the high standards of Malkovich and Mirren and the underwhelming performance from Willis. Though this isn’t to say that his performances was bad, he just didn’t excel in his role the way in which Mirren and Malkovich did.

We also see performances from Brian Cox, James Remar, Mary-Louise Parker, Karl Urban and a bunch of other good actors too. The cast is really stellar which just makes the value of the film even better.

While the CGI isn’t outstanding and nor are the turns in the plot (you can see where it’s going if you pay attention) it is a satisfying watch. It pretty much winks at the audience and says: “Yeah, we know too. But wouldn’t it be fun if this did happen!”

With the 4 front runners of the film – Willis, Freeman, Malkovich and Mirren – having established their careers a long time ago, it’s almost like they’re coming together, kicking back, and having some well deserved fun. They’ve all definitely still got it!

Star rating:  7.5/10

Directed by Robert Schwentke.

Running time 111 minutes.

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