Movie Reviews

Review: Red

Robert Schwentke

Bruce Willis
Morgan Freeman
John Malkovich
Mary-Louise Parker
Karl Urban
Helen Mirren

Retired CIA Operatives are hunted down by their former agency and must fight back to survive.

Thank you, Robert Schwentke for making the Ocean’s 11 of action flicks. With an all-star cast, fantastic action sequences, a fun script,and fast-paced direction, Red is the action/comedy of the year. First off, I just have to say how much fun this movie was. Usually with action movies, or even comedies, there are good 15 to 20 minutes where it gets way too serious or too off-task that it loses its steam. Thankfully, this film does not have that.

Bruce Willis is THE American action hero and, even in his old age, he has not lost his touch. He’s still got the knack for doing shootouts and beat-downs like nobody knows how. Few directors have used Willis’ abilities to their utmost, but Schwentke appears to be one of those directors. He stages the action scenes intelligently in a way so that we know what’s going on (who’s hitting who, who’s shooting who) and with a  great amount of style and excitement. One scene in particular you might have seen in the trailers has Willis’ car getting T-boned and spinning out of control as he steps out with his gun, the car nearly missing him, and begins to unload on the oncoming vehicle. This is just the kind of “cool” action we have been waiting for from Willis.

The action in the film is nearly non-stop, with interesting plot points and fantastic comical bits by John Malkovich (who really steals the show here). One aspect of the film I quite enjoyed was that the action was over-the-top, but still a bit realistic. Every time a shot is fired, you feel it…the same with a punch to the face. The cast is all-around a lot of fun; with Bruce doing his macho-man-with-a-heart-of-gold thing, Mary-Louise Parker as his wily love interest, Malkovich as the paranoid psycho, Brian Cox sporting a Russian accent, and Helen Mirren wielding machine guns. One of the real standouts for me in the film was Karl Urban, who plays the CIA operative hunting down Willis and co. While Urban has been great in films like Bourne Supremacy, Star Trek, and the Lord of the Rings Trilogy, he has yet to get any true recognition. Hopefully the more audiences see him in the Trek series and the upcoming Judge Dredd film, the more recognition he will receive.

Overall, this is one of the most fun action films I have seen in quite a long time. This is the definition of a crowd-pleaser. Red has action, romance, comedy, and excitement. Anyone looking for a good time at the movies, check this out. I am very much hoping to revisit this cast of characters in a possible sequel.

Rating:  PG-13 for intense sequences for action violence and brief language

Runtime: 111 minutes

Grade:  A-

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