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Tuesday, March 1, 2011

DVD Review: "Red"

"Frank Moses was one of the most effective black op agents we've ever had. He retired drug-lords, terrorists. Hell, he toppled governments. Yeah. He was truly gifted."
Box office magnet Bruce Willis hasn't always chosen the most thrilling movies (remember Cop Out and Surrogates?), but you better believe that throughout his almost three-decade career the characters he's created remain unforgettable. From Butch Coolidge in Pulp Fiction to Lt. Muldoon in Grindhouse, Willis proves he is the ultimate badass. And Red is no exception.

Red teams Willis with A-listers John Malkovich, Helen Mirren, Morgan Freeman and Weeds star Mary-Louise Parker in another high-speed geriatric action flick (along the lines of the testosterone one-fueled The Expendables, just not as kickass). Willis, Freeman, Malkovich, and Mirren are retired black-ops agents who decide to reassemble the team when Frank (Willis) is threatened by a high-tech assassin. After spending the last few years going out their business in mundane pedestrian roles, they are more than willing to pick up their oozies again to take out the bad guys. And you'd be surprised at how much their aim hasn't wavered not a bit. Sarah (Parker), on the other hand, is just an innocent from Frank's pedestrian world who happens to get caught up in the crossfire when she becomes a target by association. Together they make up for decent movie, with occasionally good action scenes.

However, Red is nothing like Willis's other movies (though, trust me, he's still got it). Too bad all the cool scenes were given away in the trailer. It's missing the memorable one-liners and style of his past movies (though Mirren really helps fill that void). Freeman is unusually drab in his performance, but perhaps that lends itself to the character. Willis and Mirren really do their best to hold up the movie with their cool charm (and Malkovich's wit is always dependable), but it ends up falling flat in some areas. Give it a whirl if you're in the mood to just kick back and enjoy decent action flick, but don't think too hard about it. It's just good ole fun.

Rating: C+


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