Sunday, October 17, 2010

RED Almost Lives Up To Hype

When I saw the previews for RED at Comic-Con more than two months ago, I thought ths would be one cool movie.
I'll admit it. Helen Mirren with a machine gun was really the selling point. What other reason would get her there, considering her past roles?

Saw RED yesterday, and it was a solid action movie. With some tweaks, it could have been more awesome, such as more Mirren.
The plot, of course, is that some retired CIA agents are marked for death by someone. Bruce Willis does a heck of a job as Frank Moses. Even at his advanced age, which isn't that advanced, he kicks butt. Mary-Louise Parker as his reluctant sidekick, Sarah, is really quirky. I just wish she was allowed to fire a few shots at the bad guys. Morgan Freeman and John Malkovich are also good. I think John's response to someone trying to kill him with a rocket launcher should be on a t-shirt, sold by the AARP.
I am kind of torn about Karl Urban, as Cooper, the CIA official sent to kill Frank. When we first meet him, he is seen as ruthless, but also talks to his kid on the cell phone. That's supposed to show he's not totally without a soul, like his supervisor. From then on, he's ruthless and rather arrogant in his efforts to bring Frank down. His fight with Moses enlightens him a bit, but not enough to realize he's being used by the real bad guys. Either they make him soulless, or have some compassion and sense. He and Frank would have been very scary as a team. However, that would have gone against the comic that the movie is based, which, again, would have been reason to make him ruthless.

Also, did you know Bran Cox is in this movie? He plays Ivan, a Russian agent who's also been put out to pasture, and is asked by Frank to help out. Maybe the trailers sould have mentioned this.
And speaking of the trailers, they spoil a plot point when it appears someone has the drop on Freeman's character, but they don't reveal what eventually happens and why.

The movie hasn't been as well-received as most action movies right now. It could be because of the reasons I mentioned. It could also be due to the fact that it came after The Expendables and Machete, which were both action packed and bloody. Maybe people were hoping RED would be just as insane as The Expendables, which also include aging block ops guys. Well, it isn't, but it's a good movie that could have been better with a few more Killer Helen Mirren.

So, what's next? If Let Me In is still in an AMC theater in L-A next month, I'll get to that. I still regret not seeing Toy Story 3 when I had the chance. I will get it soon, like maybe when it's released on DVD. If I buy that and The Shepherd's Tale, I save on postage. From the trailers I saw yesterday, Dwayne Johnson looks like revenge on two legs with Faster. I also expect the GOP to demand that everyone connected with Fair Game (the Valerie Plame movie with Naomi Watts and Sean Penn) be charged with treason. It'll keep Fox News busy for a month, that's for sure. I think it's time to find an indie to see, like Nowhere Boy or It's Kind of a Funny Story.

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