42 Screens: RED

Bruce Willis is getting old, he is 55 years old now and still doing action films.  To many people this is a joke, to others this is the plot of a comedy film.  This week Willis stars in the comedy-action movie called RED.

The movie, which is based on the Wildstorm (which means DC) comic of the same name by Warren Ellis, is about a series of retired secret agents designated Retired and Extremely Dangerous, or RED.  The story circles around former CIA agent Frank Moses.  Moses is now living a quiet life of retirement, and trying his best to flip the switch from agent to regular person.  He is lonely, bored, and finding it hard to adapt to civilian life.  He has a phone relationship with a woman named Sarah but all that comes to an end, happily, when a special agent strike-force tries to end him.  This is the event that sets the movie in motion, causing Moses to drive across the country to save Sarah, and reunite with his old teammates.

The cast is wildly original, vastly different and hilarious.  The star studded cast that makes up this team is filled mostly with actors we rarely see, if ever, in an action film.  There is Morgan Freeman as Joe, a retired agent living in a seniors home who spends his time checking out nurses, John Malkovich as Marvin: The paranoid conspiracy theorist who had been secretly given LSD for 20 years by the government, Brian Coz as Simanov: a Russian agent who used to be Moses’ arch-enemy and Helen Mirren as Victoria: The high society grandma who takes assassination contracts on the side.  Together these five and Sarah, played by Mary-Louise Parker, work together to stay alive, avoid the agent out to kill him (played by Karl Urban) and figure out why they have been terminated.

When I awoke and found three bullet holes in my chest.  I knew she still loved me – Ivan

The movie takes a light tone then the comic did, constantly using humour and Malkovich’s comic sensibilities, which makes for a better movie then if they had tried to play it straight.  The idea of a serious senior action film would not go over well with audiences.  Picture if you will The Expendables if Stallone and everybody was 10 to 15 years older.  The action was great in this film, with an awesome fight scene between Urban and Willis – with Urban taking the majority of the damage and stunts in the fights.  The movie doesn’t hold many high flying stunts or crazy death defying action feat, the actors can’t do that anymore, but instead we are greeted with smooth, tactical and strategic gunfights.

The movie is amazing and exciting with sights normally not seen.  It’s not often we see Helen Mirren, the actress who played Queen Elizabeth, Ophelia, Morgana and Deep Thought, wielding sub-machine guns or firing a mounted .50 calibers machine gun.  Man Queen Elizabeth can shoot.

The movie is a must see for this season, a good action film to be enjoyed by young and old (over half of my theatres audience for that film were of the 40+ age group) and it not to be missed.

Old Man my ass – Marvin

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