I’m not sure if I remember my opinion flipping back and forth quite so drastically on a movie as it has with Red. I was initially excited when it first started showing in theaters. Bruce Willis, although sometimes bland, is always fairly reliable as a star. When complimented with Malkovich, Mirren, and Freeman, I believed the movie to look great. And then the lukewarm reviews began to pour in, and my brain heaved a sad sigh.
Now, given this opportunity to watch whatever I want, I gave this movie a full-hearted try. I’m glad to say that it definitely didn’t disappoint, and that I probably should have seen it in theaters when I had the chance.
Apparently based on a DC comic, the plot follows the protagonist, Frank Moses (Willis), as he is violently called out of retirement from the black ops unit of the CIA. The rest of the cast is along for the ride as the intrigue sets in.
Willis is a steady supporting character, but Malkovich is much more fun to watch in his supporting role. Everyone else is able to play their roles convincingly, even if the roles themselves are a little stock.
The sets are really cool and definitely feel alive. This was especially true of the living spaces that were available. The government buildings felt suitably cold as well. There could have been a couple of wide shots in the urban scenes, because they sometimes felt claustrophobic.
The action is over the top, but actually surprisingly believable. If you know beforehand that it’s based on a comic, it fits. Otherwise, it can feel like too much from scene to scene.
A really fulfilling action flick with at least a little re-watchability. My first thought when finishing it was, “This is the good version of The Expendables.” If you’ve seen both, you know I’m right.
Good for a group of young people who want an awesome movie, but won’t leave people with functioning brains unsatisfied.