Starring Bruce Willis, John Malkovich, Karl Urban, Helen Mirren, Mary-Louise Parker, Brian Cox, Richard Dreyfuss. Written by Jon Hoeber, Rich Hoeber, Directed by Robert Schwentke. Release: 15 October 2010. Summit Entertainment, 111 mins., Rated R
Plot: Retired CIA assassins are now targets, and hell if they're gonna just sit back and die.
Finding a good action movie has been a tad difficult as of late. THE EXPENDABLES, you say? Well, sure, it had a bunch of blood and guns, but it wasn't particularly a fun, let alone good, movie. The only flick I can think of that fits the 'fun action' quota would be SCOTT PILGRIM VS. THE WORLD, and any casual reader of this blog will already recognize my supreme love of all things SCOTT PILGRIM. Will RED, a adaptation of a graphic novel series, earn any serious kudos down the road or receive well deserved recognition? Probably not. But I sat in that movie theater, a large popcorn nearly gone, a Dr. Pepper already devoured before the trailers concluded, a chocolate bar ready to be consumed, and I enjoyed a near two-hour movie that had cinematic legends kicking ass and taking names, and the cleverly written script, sharp cinematography, and stellar actors just added on the awesomeness.
First, please take notice of the photo I used for this review. Now, it would make complete sense to use a pic that featured the entire cast, so the presumed reader would get a sense of what they're getting into. Well, that shot of John Malkovich fits that bill quite well. Malkovich, in one of his best roles in years, is absolutely batshit crazy as Marvin Boggs, a dude absolutely convinced everyone in the entire galaxy is out to kill him and that everything is part of a vast conspiracy. Marvin's craziness nicely reflects the tone of the movie - fast with the violence and editing, loose with the overall logical thinking of the script, and crazy with the awesomeness. I mean, hell, folks, this is a flick about fifty-something assassins breaking into the CIA and foiling their termination plan. Screw sense and logic, Helen Mirren's using a frakkin' machine gun!
Watch Karl Urban fight Bruce Willis in close-contact quarters!
Watch Morgan Freeman 'touch' Richard Dreyfuss! [not as dirty as it sounds]
Watch Brian Cox go Russian and blow up a car and woo Helen Mirren!
Watch Helen Mirren gleefully firing at a battalion of Secret Service agents!
Watch Bruce Willis exit a circling car!
And best of all, not character ever says, "I'm too old for this shit"!
Bruce, Helen, Morgan, John, Karl, and Mary-Louise are all at their A-games. Bruce can do this role in his sleep, as evidenced by his unenthusiastic stint in A COUPLE OF DICKS earlier this year; Morgan's obviously enjoying the freedom to kick some ass, although he isn't given the most to work with [in fact, if there's any sort of fail on RED's part, it's how poorly written Morgan's exit from the story is - lacks major emotional impact where it should be ginormous! He's Bruces' friend, after all!]. Mary-Louise, whom I've never seen in WEEDS, is great fun as the kidnapped gal who ends up getting a kick out of this whole assassin thing. John Malkovich - man, I love yah. Helen - please make more of these movies. And Karl - if the James Bond franchise ever picks up steam again, and Craig retires from the role, you sure as hell better throw your name into the bid.
Instead of watching THE SOCIAL NETWORK for the third time, give RED a try. It's not like there's too much else to pick from, and RED is one hell of a blast from beginning to end. Oh, and as far as the EXPENDABLES comparison, here's alone: frak THE LOSERS, this is good stuff. Hell, not even A-TEAM was as fun...or cool. At the very least, if you decide to wait for DVD or choose to skip it all together, surf through YouTube and find all the Malkovich and Mirren scenes, as well as the Bruce vs. Karl fight. Those should not be missed. Also, if this is persuasive or anything since I seem to have a different movie taste from fellow bloggers, RED is soo hitting my top ten of 2010.