‘Red’ Review: Ridiculous Yet Amusing

Red Movie PosterI find it funny that the only reason I get to see fairly current movies now is because of my local supermarket’s glorious Redbox and then the first movie review that I’m writing in oh, a year and a half, is called ‘Red’, starring Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman, John Malkovich, Mary Louise Parker, and Helen Mirren. When it came out, the preview looked amusing. After all, doesn’t everyone love seeing old fuddy duddies whoop some ass?

Still, seeing as how we get to go out to the movies only once every other blue moon, I remember choosing some other movie to see. My mother highly recommended it to me, but ever since she told me years ago that she loved Vertical Limit, well I just can’t trust that woman’s taste in movies.

There is, however, a huge difference between spending $21 to watch a movie and spending $1.00 (the Blu-Ray was out), so when it came out last week, we were happy to rent it.

Before I get started, the trailer:

With that to go on, I have to start off by saying that I found it rather alarming that Mary Louise Parker looks like she hasn’t aged a day past Fried Green Tomatoes, which was a whopping 20 FREAKING YEARS AGO.

Mary Louise ParkerWell okay so maybe she does look more than a day older, but still, she was 27 in Fried Green Tomatoes, which makes her pushing 50 when she’s in Red. Does she have some sort of special Neutrogena formula whipped up just for her? I’d love to look 30 when I’m 47.

So back to the review. We find Frank Moses (Bruce Willis), bored stiff at home in retirement from the CIA and tearing up government pension checks just so that he can call up Sarah at the government pension checks office and complain to her. Later that night, Frank surprises and kills a team sent to kill him and he takes off immediately for Sarah’s location because now that he’s marked, they’ll be after her as well.

A bit rusty with the whole dating thing, he introduces himself by being in her house when she returns home from a blind date and much to her astonishment, he’s done some cleaning while he waited. Hysterical at his sudden appearance, she won’t go with him, so he kidnaps her instead. Thus begins an adventure for Sarah, who normally sits miserably through her day at work, looking at places she wishes she could go.

Throughout this adventure, the stunts that appear are so cheesy and fantastic that you can’t help but laugh. While I guess you could say the same thing about stupid stunts in Jason Statham movies, somehow this just works for me, while I continue to hate anything Jason Statham stars in. Helen Mirren, who is revealed to be a badass in the previews, is even more of a badass in the movie. However, the highlight of the film comes from John Malkovich’s character. Living in hiding and paranoid that everyone is trying to kill him, Marvin steals the show with his crazy antics, loony-bin looks, and of course his pink stuffed pig.

If you’re looking for a night of popcorn flick entertainment at home, Red will surely deliver on that note.

Spoiler Warning

The plot delves into a rather boring story about some mission in Guatemala that I really didn’t give a shit about. Brad Pitt’s hot doppleganger, Karl Urban, plays CIA golden boy William Cooper and he spends most of his time being handed his ass until the end, when he saves the day. You go, boy!

During a touching girl talk while the men go in to talk to some guy who knows something, Victoria (Mirren) tells Sarah about a man she once loved, but was ordered to kill. In the end, she shot him three times in the chest.

There’s an appearance by Richard Dreyfuss and unfortunately, he’s in the movie with a hint of that annoying ass nasal voice he sometimes uses. I much rather hear him talk in his deep droning voice. For the life of me, I can’t remember what Morgan Freeman’s character Joe is good for, other than bullet meat when his friends need to make a break for it.

"I'm yer uncle. Argyle."

Although not in the main credits, their little team of old people also includes Ivan, played by Brian Cox. Most of you probably know him from the Jason Bourne movies, but I will never get out of my head how he was William Wallace’s Uncle Argyle. It’s just hard for me to forget a tiny little role like that for some reason.

The really freakish thing is that Brian Cox starred in another movie named Red only two years ago. That must have been a fun conversation for his agent.

“Hey man, I got this great movie for you called Red.”
“I did that movie last year, moron.”

One of the funniest scenes in the movie comes when Ivan reveals to Frank three healed scars in his chest, telling him, “Once the woman I loved shot me three times in the chest. Now she’s sitting on my front porch drinking my vodka.” Other than that, pretty much any scene John Malkovich is in brings the stock of this movie up.

In the end, they all live happily ever after, presumably after they’ve all gone to get the pancakes that Marvin grinningly suggests after shooting a man a few extra times.

Red is the kind of movie I like to think actors do just for fun. After all, with all the Serious Business roles that Helen Mirren takes on, I would think playing a crazy bitch with a Gatling gun would be pretty damn fun. Word is that there’s a sequel in the making and although really I enjoyed this one, I’m afraid the sequel would still be Redbox material rather than theater.

Final verdict: Great guilty pleasure movie, would watch again on tv.

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