Red – Robert Schwentke
Based on a very famous graphic novel series, which i haven’t read, Red sees a group of retired but extremely dangerous people going on one last heave-ho to dispel the facts about being “out of the game”. That’s where RED comes from, Retired Extremely Dangerous, and it stars a wonderful array of stars, which would make The Expendables blush because of the quality. With leads from Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman, John Malkovich, Helen Mirren and Brian Cox, it’s an epic line up which feels like a summer action film but released in October. It doesn’t quite fit and nor does the film. The feel of the film is something along the same lines of The Losers, over-the-top action, some great actors staring but it seems to be falling back on their past history, not pushing themselves into new heights like most comic books have done. And i think that’s the difference between a graphic novel and a comic book. A comic book has many series with one character, changing its form, its history and its future but with a graphic novel, just a small series with a linear narrative as their isn’t many copies of the same story but changed, there is only one. And with the images being the vivid and strange that is, it’s hard to get those images and place them into moving ones. Look at 300 and The Watchmen for instance, to try and stay close to the source material is crazy so the films come off jaded and feeling shallow. Red has the same error but luckily the shallowness doesn’t stop me from enjoying the film.
Following Frank Moses, an ex-CIA agent who after going into retirement is attacked by men who are openly trying to kill him and he goes on a search to find out who has been trying to kill him and if people who near back in the service are dead too. After finding a connection with a woman through phone calls, he goes to meet her and they soon find a bond which sees them going to find out how each of Frank’s friends are doing. With Mirren, Freeman, Malkovich and Cox providing interesting characters with Malkovich stealing every scene he is in. A quality actor who i could watch for hours and hours and he steals the show from Willis who is Bruce Willis, he doesn’t play anyone else and i enjoy him for that. Throw in action scenes, shoot outs, and interesting fight sequences and you’ve got a good action film for the summer, not great, but good. It does better than The Losers in not being too over the top and comical with its action but it does the job.
I enjoyed several aspects about the film but you will feel empty after watching it as it has nothing going for it. Oh and for the trekkie fans, the doctor McCoy is the villain. Yes, he actually plays it well.