by Rick Grant
This is one of those movies that is just nutty fun for viewers. With an all-star cast, well written script, and tight direction by Robert Schwentke, the picture rises to a quality-caliber production.
The story involves Bruce Willis character Frank Moses, who is retired from the Company (CIA). However, he’s given the status RED (Retired Extremely Dangerous) and is put on a hit list to be terminated with extreme prejudice. He suddenly realizes that his life is in danger and also his former team.
Frank reassembles his team, including Joe (Morgan Freeman) who is at stage 4 of liver cancer, living in a nursing home. Victoria (Helen Mirren) is more than willing to get back in action. The plan is to break into the CIA and steal the RED files and find out why they are targeted.
Finally, Frank finds Marvin Boggs (John Malkovich) in his bunker and the team is ready to execute their plan. This sets up the non-stop action as the team outsmarts the security at the CIA to get the important files, guarded by Ernest Borgnine’s character Henry.
The caper continues with the team equipped with serious ordnance to take out the bad guys. The high profile actors make the difference between cheesy grade B action and more sophisticated scenes.
Hell, the film is worth viewing just to see 65 year old Oscar winning actress, Helen Mirren brandishing automatic weapons, a .50 caliber machine gun and a sniper rifle. John Malkovich, who is taking more comedic roles lately, steals his scenes as the ultimate paranoid ex-CIA operative, who sees conspiracies everywhere.
Yes, this dramedy could be in a class with the Die Hard franchise. However, the actors avoid hamming it up (John Malkovich goes a bit too far) to play it straight which makes the subtle comedic bits work every better.
Overall, this is a quality action film that revs up the adrenalin and takes the viewers on a bullet flying adventure. Sure, it’s the old guys and gal having one last fling before fading away. Viva the seniors.
Red Movie Review
by Rick Grant