I Saw A Film Today… RED

Movies based on graphic novels translate relatively well to the screen. I saw relatively because there is always the exception (ah hum, Whiteout). You already have the script and storyboard drawn out for you, all you really have to do is translate it to celluloid. Some recent successes include Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World and last years Watchmen. But will people still be interested if the main characters are old retirees?

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Frank Moses (Bruce Willis) is a retired black-ops CIA agent, code-named RED (standing for Retired: Extremely Dangerous). He is bored with this life style and fills his time talking to Sarah (Mary-Louise Parker), a federal customer service worker that takes care of Frank’s pension checks. But Frank’s quite life is rocked one night when a wet team attacks his house in the middle of the night.

Frank goes to Kansas City to retrieve a reluctant Sarah from her home. During this time we learn that the CIA is the one actually carrying out the hits on him and other people from a mission in Guatemala in the 80’s. The man who is in charge of the mission is a man named Cooper (Doctor “Bones” himself, Karl Urban).

Frank decides it is time to team up with some old comrades. This interesting group of people includes a stage four liver patient (Morgan Freeman), a conspiracy theorist (John Malkovich), a Russian agent (Brian Cox), and a woman named Victoria (Dame Helen Mirren) who still does odd hit jobs on the side. Together, The group goes around the country trying to unravel the mystery of those coming after them.

Red was a fun and hilarious film, even if it was predictable and formulaic at times. The cinematography was great and at times gave the feel of being in the graphic novel itself. With a cast of such big names, they worked very well together. Who would not want to see Helen Mirren with a sniper rifle or John Malkovich spring out of nowhere with a crossbow? The chemistry between Parker and Willis is also great and humorous.

There were some obvious problems with Red. The story, while engaging, was also formulaic and predictable. There was more than once when I was able to predict what was going to happen. Not to mention there were more than a few plot holes that were rather large and noticeable.

Even with these hurdles, Red comes out of the smoke and gunfire as a fun and entertaining film. It is part graphic novel, part explosions, part 70’s action film throwback.

Verdict: RENT IT!

So while everyone else was being Paranormal Jackasses (in 3-D), did you see Red? What did you think? Leave your comments and opinions below.

 

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