- Running time:
- 110 minutes
- Bruce Willis -
- Frank Moses
- Morgan Freeman -
- Joe Matheson
- John Malkovich -
- Marvin Boggs
- Helen Mirren -
- Karl Urban -
- William Cooper
Retired and extremely dangerous CIA black ops agent Frank Moses (Bruce Willis) is adjusting to a quiet life in suburbia when a sudden and deadly reminder of his former life jolts him into action. He hits the road to protect cubicle-dwelling love interest Sarah (Mary-Louise Parker) and reunite with fellow retirees Joe (Morgan Freeman), Marvin (John Malkovich) and Victoria (Helen Mirren). They’re all being tracked by current CIA hotshot William Cooper (Karl Urban), who has been authorized to use any means necessary to bring them in.
The buzz: Based on a simple 66-page DC Comics graphic novel by Warren Ellis and Cully Hamner about a retired agent, “RED” was expanded for the screen by director Robert Schwentke (“The Time Traveler’s Wife”) and writers Jon and Erich Hoeber (the upcoming “Battleship”). A whole mess of quirky characters were conceived for the impressive cast, which also includes Richard Dreyfuss, Brian Cox, Julian McMahon, Rebecca Pidgeon and Ernest Borgnine.
The verdict: If a good cast guaranteed a good movie, there would be a lot more films worth seeing. Happily, “RED” lives up to the talent involved, using the eccentric ensemble to elevate a loopy action-comedy-romance. It’s the sort of light and fizzy adult thrill ride “Knight and Day” tried and failed to deliver this summer. Schwentke wisely lightens up after the dour “Flightplan” and dreary “Time Traveler’s Wife,” and trusts the performers to work their magic. From Willis and Parker’s offbeat romantic banter to Malkovich’s hilariously paranoid oddball and Mirren’s immaculate assassin, the cast delivers across the board, creating characters that go beyond cartoon action types. “RED” aspires to the kind of grown-up, lived-in smarts that defined the Elmore Leonard adaptations “Jackie Brown” and “Out of Sight.” It’s not the full blown feast those movies were, but does serve up a satisfying snack in a genre that usually makes due with crumbs.
Did you know? Mirren approached her character as a loving homage to Martha Stewart, a perfectionist with a balance of femininity and practicality.
Movie theaters and showtimes for Red in Des Moines.
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