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Red - DVD Review

Posted Date: 06 April 2011 at 11:11:03AM


Starring: Bruce Willis, Helen Mirren, Morgan Freeman
Director: Robert Schwentke
Rating: M

DVD Release - April 2011


Red is about former black-op CIA agents who are retired and deemed dangerous. That sounds like good and light entertainment if you're a suspense and action movie-goer. Throw in Morgan Freeman, Helen Mirren, John Malkovich, Bruce Willis and, as the list continues, the validity of the movie goes up. These are, after all, great actors. Good names, especially in the action world, and they're retired. How ironic. It's supposed to be comical. Looks like all the ingredients are there.


In reality, it was under two hours, but often felt like eternity. There were long pauses between action scenes and quality comedy scenes that were dragged out and unnecessary. The running joke, the tagline, "Still armed. Still dangerous. Still got it" was overplayed: "Frank, she called me an old man...who's old now?" Lots of bullets and loud explosions later we get the joke. It's not that funny the seventeenth time around.


The actual story was bland and the plot was easily recognizable, and, "mystery" solved. It is an irony after all, but I wasn't feeling it. The quality of say, Burn After Reading, with its tight plot, sublime characters and hilarious one-liners plus over all message, was far better. Hey, maybe I'm just not an ironic person. Give me dry humour, wit and awkward moments, all of which were barely utilized and successfully deployed in Red, any day. Mostly, the film was unrealistic shooting, gun fighting and explosions without the suspense and thrill of Die Hard. Now, I am a ‘die-hard' Die Hard fan, and Bruce Willis is the man. He is the white version of Denzel. He is the reason why the movie was salvageable. Specifically the scene in which the car spins out of control and he walks out of it clean, shooting straight at whatever bad guy, was sheer excellence. His stance, his dress, his gun, his confidence...just sold it.


John Malkovich was fantastic as the lunatic and paranoid side-kick as was Helen Mirren selling the whole, girls can kick ass, image. Morgan Freeman threw in his two cents and twenty minute appearance as he's been doing in recent movies (validity right?). Mary Louise Parker was right for the role of the would-be damsel in distress with plenty of humour. A welcome surprise was Julian McMahon, an Australian actor, who played a quivering and irrelevant politician, but nonetheless he was enjoyable because I'm in Australia currently. Even though I prefer McMahon's performance in Nip/Tuck, make no mistake, no one's denying how good the acting is.


All in all, I was not impressed. After a while the excitement over Bruce's manliness wears off and you just get low quality entertainment. It was worth a watch on a half off Tuesday at the Randwick Ritz and that should tell you exactly how I feel about the movie.


- Ines Belic


Read Ines' Blog, Life, Love & Freedom, here.


Watch clip of the killer Willis scene 






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