By Nathan M Rose

Oct 14, 2010 10:59 PM EST


Red Theatrical Review

Filling the comic book void this fall comes Red, starring an ensemble cast of Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman, John Malkovich, Helen Mirren, Mary-Louise Parker, Karl Urban, Brian Cox, and Richard Dreyfus.  It is based on the DC comic Book by Warren Ellis and Cully Hammer.
Red (Retired Extremely Dangerous) tells the story of Frank Moses (Bruce Willis),a retired CIA agent who is trying to live of the rest of his life as a civilian.  However, the government has other plans for him.  Now Frank, along with other fellow retired CIA agents, must uncover a plot that leads all of the way up to the highest levels of government.
To say Red has an amazing cast is as easy as saying that water is wet.  Bruce Willis is at the top of his game as usual, Morgan Freeman, and John Malkovic play their parts to a tee, and Helen Mirren, and Mary-Louise Parker help provide great chemistry to the rag-tag group of ex-agents.
Red walks a very fine line between action and comedy.  One that is extremely hard to accomplish; however, Red pulls it off in the end -- thanks to the skillful writing of the original comic and the screenplay Jon Hoeber and Erich Hoeber. The action is solid (I personally love seeing Hellen Mirren brandish a machine gun) and the dialog is quick witted.
Note though, Red is not without its faults.  It's director, Robert Schwentke (Flightplan, The Time Traveler's Wife), tries extremely hard to keep the film rooted in it's comic book ties with very stylized title sequences in between scenes.  However, the gimmick becomes old very quickly and detracts from the overall film.
Red is definitely a crowd pleaser, and is a great feel good movie to see this weekend.  If at some time, though. a sequel is made, they hopefully will choose a different director that will not try to over style the film.

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MPAA Rating: PG-13
Running Time: 111 minutes
Distributed By: Universal Pictures

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