Red - Review

After the summer blockbuster "The Expendables", the next great action movie relieing on a great ensemble cast, was the comic book adaptation "Red". This obviously greatly entertaining movie gives us a good time with a brilliant cast including Bruce Willis, John Malkovich, Morgan Freeman and Helen Mirren. Now does the formula (great cast + action + comic adaptation + comedy) work?

The plot: Frank (Bruce Willis), Joe (Morgan Freeman), Marvin (John Malkovich) and Victoria (Helen Mirren) used to be the CIAs top agents but the secrets they know just made them the Agencys top targets. Now framed for assassination, they must use all of their collective cunning, experience and teamwork to stay one step ahead of their deadly pursuers and stay alive. To stop the operation, the team embarks on an impossible, cross-country mission to break into the top-secret CIA headquarters, where they will uncover one of the biggest conspiracies and cover-ups in government history.

The plot honestly isn't too exciting. It's your standard action movie conspiracy story. It doesn't destroy the overall feel of the movie but well, i also didn't really expect a new groundbreaking story.
Now first of all, i didn't read the original DC comic to this movie, so i can't give you any information of how true this one is to its source material.

Anyway, the casting choices for this movie are just brilliant. You just have to read the names of the main actors on the poster, or watch the trailer, to know that this sure is one kick ass cast. Every single one of the actors does a good job in acting. It's nothing special, but it's ok "action-movie acting". It's just Willis, Freeman, Malkovich and Mirren as usual. It's by far not their best performance but also not their worst. They serve their purpose well.
Although i did have some problems with some of the characters themselves. Frank Moses is played pretty well by Bruce Willis, but i just found the love story between him an his love interest Sarah a bit too forced and uninspired. Maybe the reason for this is because the audience is not given enough backstory of their relationship. This leads me to another problem i had with Mary Louise Parker. She is by far the worst actress in this flick. I don't really know if it's the character or her acting, but the whole time shit is blowing up, she is just like "huiii that's exciting!". WTF?! Either is she on drugs or a totally unbelivable character. I mean i understand her being in a midlife crisis without a lover etc. but seriously...WTF?!
Additionally i have to say that this movie really tries to make the audience laugh with its comedic moments but they just don't really work. For a movie whose strengths clearly are in the comedy and action department, this movie didn't make me laugh a lot. Most of the comedy is related to John Malkovich's character Marvin Boggs who cleary is supposed to be the "funny guy" of this movie. Unfortunaltely his character would have been much cooler if he would have had a bit more to say and if the jokes were better. Maybe it's just not my kind of humor but for my taste the jokes are pretty weak. They occasionally will put a smile on your face, but for a movie of this caliber, they should have been better.
Also i thought that Morgan Freemans screentime in the entire flick was way too little for such a great and entertaining actor. I don't want to spoil anything but...well, you will see why.

The action scenes are superb. They may be a bit too short and there may be a bit to little of them in the whole movie but when they actually happen, they are awesome. Not only because they are greatly choreographed but also because it's just great to see old actors kick ass.
Oh and i have to say, although Bruce Willis seems to be the main badass of this flick...well, Helen Mirren in my opinion steals the show. When this old lady starts shooting, it just looks badass!
Sometimes the action scenes have some CGI in them. They clearly show that this is a comic adaptation that doesn't take itself too seriously (it's like in "The Losers"). The CGI therefore is more entertaining than unnecessary.

All in all, "Red" clearly could have been better. The trailers showed that this flick has great potential, especially with a cast of this excellence. There's a bit too little action and flat comedy, but it sure is a very entertaining movie. For me, just watching those old great actors still kick as together, did it all for me. I don't think that people expect more from this movie. And that's exactly the right attitude.
I can only say that i was really entertained by this one. If you liked "The Expendables" and still can't have enough of older actors still kickin' ass, then go watch "Red".

Final Verdict: 6 out of 10


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