Red is the 2010 comic book adaption directed by Robert Schwentke and starring old favourites Bruce Willis, Helen Mirren, Morgan Freeman, John Malkovich and Mary-Louise Parker.
The story follows retired CIA agent Frank Moses when he is forced out of retirement by a wet work squad. Once he discovers that they are being targeted because of a mission he was involved in in 1981, Frank assembles together some old retired friends, along with his long time crush Sarah Ross, to try and figure out who is trying to kill them all.
Red, standing for Retired and Extremely Dangerous, is a great action comedy, and its premise is so different from the majority, it has become one of my favourite films to watch. For once, the characters are not young, gorgeous and charming. In Red, they are old, crazy, and with a vastly greater experience in dealing with death than all the young agents that are sent after them. It leads to some pretty awesome fight sequences. In these scenes, everything is chaotic with hints of mania from the young agents and body guards, , yet these retired agents are calm, collected, and making jokes whilst they beat everyone to an embarrassing pulp.
It doe not have the sense of a thrill ride that most conventional spy films have, but its simplicity and unconventional plot lead to a fun and often playful film that is great to see at any time.
Notable mentions go to Karl Urban in his role as a Agent William Cooper, the leader of the group sent to kill Moses. his sense of loyalty and need to finish the job is a stark contrast to Moses’easy going nature.
Helen Mirren is as always, amazing in her role as former MI6 sniper Victoria Winslow. Her calm demeanor whilst killing is frightening, and the fact that all the men in the film seem somewhat terrified of her aids in making us believe she is the most deadly of the group. She also happens to be the one everyone seems to be a little in love with, which just makes me want to see more of her.
Probably the best character of the film is Marvin Boggs, played by John Malkovich. A former CIA agent, Marvin has become a paranoid conspiracy theorist who believes that the government is constantly trying to manipulate his life. Considering that the CIA gave him daily does of LSD for over a decade, I would say his paranoid is well earned, and more than likely correct.
The film has since had a sequel, and there are now talks for a third film and a television show. It may not seem like the kind of work to have so many sequels and adaptations, but once you watch it, you find yourself wanting more of it, and I think that there are a lot more stories for these characters to tell.
I give the film a 3 out of 5.