Thursday, January 27, 2011

Quick Look: RED

Red is a bludgeoning action comedy that, despite some small pleasure to be found in its fluid comic-book style, is most notable for its collection of slumming thespians that deserves much better. Bruce Willis is the most at home in this movie, starring as a recently retired CIA agent who is now marked for death by the very same organization. He figures out that it has something to do with an old mission, so he, and his mild-mannered kidnapping victim/girlfriend (Mary-Louise Parker) set off to find the other agents who were with him at the time. This involves crossing the country to pay visits to other retirees from Morgan Freeman and John Malkovich to Helen Mirren and Brian Cox. It also has something to do with a scowling Karl Urban, a devious Richard Dreyfuss, and two scenes with Ernest Borgnine. Director Robert Schwentke brings some pizzazz to the early action sequences, but even that wears out its welcome before the movie is even half over. The fun of seeing senior citizens in action sequences only takes the film so far and the filmmakers have nothing else to contribute. This is just sound and fury signifying nothing. If you’re going to let a collection of capital-A actors wallow in this kind of junky action-comedy, at least have the decency to make it good junk. I’m not mad; I’m just disappointed. Red is entirely uninvolving, but at least it’s not flat out irritating.

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