Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Review for Red

If you just had an action movie with a bunch of retired spies, it would be a pretty stupid movie.
Add a dash of comedy, however, and you’ve got yourself a winner.
Red takes the best of both the action and comedy genre. The best person to put a action/comedy?
Bruce Willis.
Add in Morgan Freeman, John Malkovich and Helen Mirren and you’ve got yourself a recipe for a fun time.
Frank (Willis), Joe (Morgan Freeman), Marvin (Malkovich) and Victoria (Mirren) used to be the CIAs top agents but the secrets they know have now made them targets for the government they once served.
Now framed for assassination, they have to “get the band back together” and use their old-school techniques to clear their name and blow stuff up.
Like I said, it sounds like an action movie and it kind of is, but it also knows not to take itself seriously. There is a great balance of laughs and gunfights. No one believes anyone can do the things the characters do, but if someone could, it would be Willis and his pals.
The only thing unbelievable about the movie is the romantic relationship between Willis and Mary Louise-Parker. Louise-Parker is about half his age and is for lack of a better term — weird. The only reason the audience puts up with her is because Willis’ character likes her.
Because the Willis essentially vouches for her, you don’t get too annoyed and hope they end up together. If not for him, however, Louise-Parker would just be an annoying nuisance (which she sort of is anyway.)
The movie’s action is a bit over-the-top, which seems to be a draw in movies now-a-days. People don’t believe it if a movie tries to make the action realistic, but if you make it grossly over-the-top, people love it. I can’t explain it, but I’m on board with it.
Movies are a magic place where people can do anything. If a movie allows that to happen, audience members can let go of reality and have a good time. This is the perfect example of an opportunity to let yourself go and have a fun movie-going experience.
Willis is a pro at action/comedy and audience members are used to seeing him in that role. Freeman and Mirren, however, are both mostly known for their serious roles. It adds an extra layer of enjoyment to see them cut loose and play a silly part.
For the most part, the whole family can enjoy the movie. Younger audiences will enjoy it, as will older audiences. Kids might not find it as entertaining or get bored (it is a little long at just under two hours), but it’s not like there are many films you can take your whole family to watch these days.

Luke Harris is the movie reviewer for the Star Group Newspapers. He often wonders how he would be as a spy. Then he remembers that he gets winded packing for a trip and would probably not do so well. He can be reached at


  1. LUKE! I had no idea that you had a blog, but it made me very happy when I found out just now. We need to get together more often! I'll give Sarah a call soon. Did I tell you that I'm moving? I am.

  2. So good to see you back at the blog. Man, I miss you when you don't write...or return my phone calls...or texts. I'm looking forward to this movie. Your description "the Willis" and his distracting relationship with Mary Louise-Parker reminded me of another Bruce Willis movie I saw probably before you were born, Blind Date. It was so awful, so horrifically-traumatically bad, my mind calls it up when I need to feign gagging. I hope this is not like that...even a little bit.