Dir. by Robert Schwentke - 1 hr. 51 min.
by Clayton Hollifield
"Red" probably benefits from a year that's completely lowered the expectations for comic book movies, but that also assumes that anyone's aware that the source material is a comic book by Warren Ellis and Cully Hamner. I'd definitely say that the movie is superior to the comic (it was a very short series - more of the outline of a story than a fully-fleshed out story), but considering that the comic wasn't a particularly big hit, it's almost irrelevant.
Bruce Willis and company coast by between action sequences with an easy charm and camaraderie that's often the make or break with this sort of movie; watching people complain about aging is a lot less easy to swallow if it's hard to believe that their on-screen circle of friends care about one another, or if they're just generally unpleasant. The action sequences are nearly a given - if you go see a movie where things are blowing up in the trailer, there's a baseline level of competence in any movie expected. So barring any ground-breaking technique, the entire thing rests on hitting the required plot points and how the actors work together. It's not unexpected, but when you assemble Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman, Helen Mirren, John Malkovich, and Mary-Louise Parker, it turns out that it's a lot of fun to watch.
It seems almost a shame to single anyone out for a particularly good job, but John Malkovich's character had me laughing out loud through the entire film, and was a good foil for Bruce Willis' legendary scowl. I had a great time watching "Red;" it's not the best movie ever made, but sometimes finding a movie that's an enjoyable ride is more than enough.
3.5 / 5 - Theatre