6 abr. 2011

My Review: RED (5/10)

¨He got old. Then some thumb-sucker came along and tagged him RED: Retired, Extremely Dangerous.¨

Robert Schwentke (The Time Traveler`s Wife, and Flightplan) had the privilege of directing a talented cast including Bruce Willis, Mary-Louise Parker, Helen Mirren, John Malkovich, Morgan Freeman, Brian Cox, Karl Urban, and Richard Dreyfuss. A lot of big names for the latest adaptation of the DC Comic graphic novel written by Warren Ellis and Cully Hamner. One would expect nothing could go wrong with a movie with such great star power, but I was disappointed with this lightly entertaining comedy slash action flick. Red suffers from a poorly adapted screenplay written by Jon and Erich Hoeber (the guys who brought us one of the worst films of 2009: Whiteout). The plot is really bad, and the actors do the best they can in order to save the film. There are some funny moments (but far too few) thanks to the talent from the entire cast that save the movie from falling into horrible territory. John Malkovich gives a very comedic and surprising performance, but unfortunately he doesn`t get enough screen time to save the movie. The rest of the cast give good performances, but they are far from memorable. The chemistry between Bruce Willis and Mary-Louise Parker (Weeds) is pretty decent, although nothing we haven’t seen before. I really expected this movie would have a lot more funnier moments, but the screenplay failed to help out the great cast. Red could have been much better if the producers would have taken more time in finding better screenwriters. I just felt this movie was like an All-Star team without a good coach to help them win the championship. With a better plot, Red would have been a great and memorable movie.

Bruce Willis is Frank Moses, a former CIA agent who is now retired and having a difficult time making the transition. The only thing that seems to keep him going is when he gets to speak over the phone with his government pension representative, Sarah Ross (Mary-Louise Parker). Her life doesn`t seem all that exciting either, and she spends her days working and reading sexy spy novels. Sarah and Frank spend a lot of time on the phone discussing their boring and lonely lives without having ever met, but they seem to enjoy each other. Their daily routines will change all of a sudden when someone puts a hit on Frank and tries killing him. Frank might be old, but he`s still got game. He manages to elude the dozen of assassins that are sent to his home and decides to give Sarah a visit in Kansas City guessing she might be in danger as well. Frank will need some help in order to discover who is after him so he decides to get his old CIA team back together: Marvin Boggs (John Malkovich), Victoria (Helen Mirren), and Joe Matheson (Morgan Freeman). They are all more than happy to get back in action since they all seem to have difficulties adapting to their retiree lives. Together they begin delving into the past in search for clues, while at the same time they have to face the young CIA agent who is after them: William Cooper (Karl Urban). Richard Dreyfuss, Brian Cox, and Julian McMahon also have smaller roles in the film.

I really wished this movie would have been funnier considering the talented cast. Malkovich is by far the funniest one in the film; I`ve seen Willis in better roles; Freeman doesn’t add anything to the story; Urban being one of the younger actors proved he has what it takes to stand next to these A-list actors; Louise-Parker was pretty funny in this movie, but she is way better in Weeds; and Helen Mirren always brings her A game to the table. I didn`t have a problem with the performances, but I just wished they would have done a better job with the plot and the screenplay. This is one of those movies that looks hilarious in the trailers, but then you discover it isn`t actually that funny when sitting through the 100 minute film. Red is not terrible. I actually had a decent time watching it, but it is just light entertainment I wouldn`t consider recommending it or watching it over again. The movie did give me a nostalgic feeling seeing how so many of these actors are actually close to their retirement, but they still have the talent if given the right script to work with. I am a huge Bruce Willis fan, but I have to admit John Malkovich stole each scene he was in. Richard Dreyfuss and Brian Cox both have small parts in this movie, but they are really funny in it as well. Seeing these brilliant actors working together is the highlight of the film, but they should have brought in some talented screenwriters as well.

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