Monday, October 25, 2010

Movie review: RED

The NPR movie reviewer can go suck an egg. He didn't have enough bad things to say about "RED". Actually, there's very few good movies he likes. He's like The Academy (or whatever we're supposed to call the people who pick the Academy Awards) in that he loves the weak sauce that may be well acted and directed, but aren't terribly interesting or entertaining. Strangely enough, he kept cracking up when talking about "Idiocracy". That's what made me see that movie.

...but "RED". That's what I was talking about. The descriptions talked about a group of retired CIA wetworks agents who come out of retirement because they're bored. That's not true. Sure, they are bored, but that's not why they become active. They become active because someone is trying to kill them.

Bruce Willis has his military discipline and too much time on his hands. His house is neat and spotless. He gets up at exactly 6:00 a.m. without the alarm clock going off. All he really has in his life is this woman (Mary-Louise Parker) who is in charge of making sure he gets his pension checks. Then some guys come to shoot up Willis's house and he goes on the run. First stop is to pick up Parker because he knows they'll try to use her to get at him.

From there you start to get the impression that this is another "Mr and Mrs Smith" or "Killers" or "Knight and Day". I don't feel like it is. I felt like those were all trying to be "True Lies" and fell short. I think "RED" was better than most of these. The NPR guy was complaining about how meh the acting was and how weak the action was. I think the acting did a good job of conveying that these were more mature agents. They're well past the "I'm James Bond!" stage. While they enjoy the work they're not a bunch of kids anymore. They're kinda dry and so is much of the humor. There's plenty of shooting and great blowing stuff up scenes. They also know when to hold their fire.

Plus, the cast of characters beats the movies listed above. They're all about him and her and keeping secrets and they're an awesome duo. In "RED" Willis collects some of his fellow retired CIA agents (Morgan Freeman, John Malkovich, Brian Cox, and Helen Mirren) who might also have an interest in the case. This turns the movie into what the "Mission: Impossible" series SHOULD have been. The TV show was before my time. If you're making a movie you don't kill off most of the team in the first reel. You save that for something like the 4th or 5th movie when you want a sequel without paying the whole cast.

I do recommend this movie. I haven't decided yet if I'll get it on DVD, but I am glad that I saw it.

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