Fantastic Fest 2010: RED Movie Review

     September 30, 2010

Somewhere, there’s hours of footage of Bruce Wills, Morgan Freeman, John Malkovich and Helen Mirren laughing their asses off. There has to be. The four award winning actors are having so much fun in their action comedy Red that there’s no way they kept a straight face after director Robert Schwentke called cut. Their obvious joy for the material comes across in every scene and that energy, combined with some cool action, makes Red a lot of fun to watch, even if the narrative is a bit thin. Hit the jump for more.

Frank Moses (Bruce Willis) is a retired C.I.A agent classified R.E.D.: Retired, Extremely Dangerous. He lives a simple life where the best thing that happens is an opportunity to call Sarah (Mary-Louise Parker), a pension operator. Then, one day, a hit team arrives in Frank’s simple suburban home and he must not only save Sarah, but round up his old friends (and enemies) to try and figure out why, after all these years of silence, they are being targeted.

All of that gets put together very quickly. And as the story moves along, it jumps from broad plot point to broad plot point without ever really giving much context or depth outside of surface information. Then, almost every 10-15 minutes, a new character is introduced played by an incredible actor: Freeman, Malkovich and Mirren of course, but also Brian Cox, Richard Dreyfuss and Ernest Borgnine. Each of them is having an incredible amount of fun making Red, chewing up the scenery and spitting dialogue out rapid fire. Chemistry and humor burst off the screen. Karl Urban also stars as the straight C.I.A. agent hot on Moses’ heals. He’s not quite as energetic, but still a worthy adversary.

Red is extremely loosely based on a three comic series by Warren Ellis and Cully Hamner released in 2003-2004. Besides the major plot arc, there are probably only five scenes, scenarios or characters that carry over from the original comic. Plus, the comics’ tone is extremely dark while the film is light and fluffy. Even the violence is played off with a comic tone. That makes the action scenes entertaining, but almost devoid of tension.

With its amazing cast, exciting tone and slew of awesome action moments, Red is an undeniably fun piece of Hollywood action entertainment fluff. The plot is paint by numbers, but it’s a turn your brain off and smile film that’s exactly what the trailer and commercials are selling.

Steve here.  While I’ll be writing more about Red over the next few weeks, I wanted to also chime in and say how much I enjoyed Red.  The movie is exactly what Germain says it is, with the performances and chemistry between the actors making this a must see film.  I couldn’t help but think of the movie Sneakers while watching, because it’s loaded with an all star cast and everyone has a moment to shine.  In the coming weeks look for new interviews with the Red cast. Until then…

Around The Web

Latest News

Watch: Four JURASSIC WORLD Journals Featuring Chris Pratt Being Chris Pratt

Pratt certainly steals the spotlight, but all four videos have loads of behind-the-scenes footage well worth checking out.

Disney Pulls the Plug on TRON 3

Disney has decided not to move forward on the 'Tron' sequel from director Joseph Kosinski.

ANT-MAN: Evangeline Lilly Announces Marvel’s Micro-Tech Challenge

Girls ages 14 to 18 can win a trip to the 'Ant-Man' premiere by building a project using micro-technology.

LUMBERJANES Getting a Live-Action Movie at 20th Century Fox

Black List scribe Will Widger is set to adapt Shannon Watters, Noelle Stevenson, Grace Ellis and Brooke A. Allen's delightful comic.

HEAVEN KNOWS WHAT Review: Love is a Drug in the Safdie Brothers’ NYC-Set Drama

The Safdie Brothers' narrative follow-up to their great parental drama 'Daddy Longlegs' stars Arielle Holmes and Caleb Landry Jones as heroin addicts scrapping for dope, booze, and shelter in NYC.

New INSIDE OUT Clip Introduces Riley’s Personality Islands

Find out the difference between a standard memory and a core memory.

LOVE LETTERS TO THE DEAD: Catherine Hardwicke in Talks to Direct YA Adaptation

Hardwick will direct the hot YA property from a script by author Ava Dellaira.

SPECTACULAR NOW Director to Helm F. Scott Fitzgerald Tale WEST OF SUNSET

James Ponsoldt will turn his talents from David Foster Wallace to the final years of 'The Great Gatsby' author Fitzgerald's life in Hollywood.

EASY A Director Will Gluck to Helm Disney’s Untitled Lottery Project

The director will also oversee a re-write converting the originally male-led film to a female-centric project.

RESULTS Review: Guy Pearce and Cobie Smulders Shine in Odd Rom-Com Riff

The director of 'Computer Chess' puts a weird spin on the romantic comedy genre to mixed results.

Page 1 of 3,97112345...102030...Last »