Reviewed by Alicia Glass
Rating: 8 Stuffed Pigs
When retired black-ops Agent Frank Moses’ life is threatened by the ghosts of his past, he and a phone operator hostage go to reassemble Moses’ old team to void off execution.
A great deal of the movie just pokes plain at itself, and I think that’s adorable. It’s often lauded as the retiree action movie of the year, and while that is certainly true, it’s still just so hard to be badass in your bathrobe! As Willis demonstrates in the opening scenes. Still, somewhere in the movie they explain that RED actually stands for “Retired, Extremely Dangerous”, so of course these old buckos still got it.
So Bruce Willis as Frank Moses, in the roles always destined to him, the extreme tough guy who kicks so much butt, but talks very softly and has a huge heart of gold. And this role is no exception – Frank Moses has a strange romance going with some telephone operator, played by Mary-Louise Parker of Weeds fame, and on the same day he finally gets to meet her in person, he’s the target of an execution squad. And it just goes further nuts from there, as Moses begins to gather his old squad to aid him. Morgan Freeman as Joe Matheson is a really tragic figure, despite still being a retired badass, the man is dying of cancer. Helen Mirren as gun-toting grandmotherly type Victoria is a hoot and a half. And my personal favorite, John Malkovich as the readily nuts Marvin Boggs, has a truly astounding and versatile actor running around with a stuffed pig that conceals a big gun. They even have Karl Urban, oh drool, as William Cooper, young, razor sharp and ambitious, as the leader of the enemy execution squad hunting Moses.
Less explosions and fight scenes than The Expendables, sure, but RED seems to have a lot more plain old fun with its movie. A fine cast that works well together, an adorable story, and a romp through what happens to those secret agents after they retire (Wait, there isn’t any retirement plan?!), gets RED a rating of 8 stuffed pigs.