Retired, Extremely Dangerous. See, you just don’t fuck with old people, is what I’ve learned. This Summer you had The Expendables (top billed cast age average: 51.1 years), Iron Man 2 (top billed cast age average: 42,2 years). Now you’ve got RED, which sports a whopping 57.4 years as the average age for top billed cast. And boy, did the movie kick ass, even though it is based on a comic!
The setting is that four characters of the main cast, introduced one by one during the course of the movie, are all retired CIA agents, and the CIA is trying to get rid of them. The attempt at Frank Moses’ life, played by Bruce Willis (you suave bastard), sets the events into motion and manages to pull along Moses’ love interest, customer service agent Sarah (Mary-Louise Parker). Even in the beginning I just couldn’t help but admire Willis’ inherent charisma, how he can be brutal yet all the while retains an aura of charisma around him, which he lacked at times in his career. The Color of Night spurs to mind. Never mind, let’s move on. I’d let Willis beat my ass any day of the week, with a smile.
Moses then goes on to get himself a crew to take on the evildoers at the CIA, mainly William Cooper (Karl Urban), with whom Moses gets really physical making a spectacular fight scene. The band Moses pulls together include his old mentor Joe (Morgan Freeman) who lives in a retirement home in New Orleans, the peculiar explosives man Marvin (John Malkovich), of whom we’re told he was in an experiment that included giving him a dose of LSD every day for 11 years and literally brings a stuffed pig to a gunfight, and finally the team’s marks(wo)man Victoria (Helen Mirren) who actually brings quite a lot of cojones to the movie. There definitely is a lot of charisma between the team, although I expected more from Malkovich who unfortunately gets cast quite often to the side in favour of the other characters. All in all the acting is on par with what one could come to expect from the stars and starlet. Believable yet tongue firmly on cheek.
The movie distracts its viewers in the beginning a bit, as it would seem to lean more on the drama and relationships of Moses and Sarah, but only for a moment before the action kicks in, with over-the-top punch, comic style. Even though the movie is based on a comic of the same name, it isn’t been talked about a lot nor is it made a big deal of publicly, probably to avoid diverting the more ‘series’ viewers of the target audience, although this does come apparent in the action scenes which are clearly stylised to resemble a comic.
All in all the movie is highly entertaining, highly energetic action and sees the lead cast have lots of fun with lots of toys that go bang. And the viewer gets to have lots of laughs in the process too. For the serious viewer, I’d recommend watching something completely different.