The Weekly Ringer

The University of Mary Washington Student Newspaper

‘RED’: kind of bloody, kind of adorable, kind of hilarious, but consistently entertaining

2 min read

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You wouldn’t expect an action movie to be adorable, but “RED” manages to match stylized violence and deadly situations with quirky humor and lovable characters.

Bruce Willis plays the hero of this film, Frank Moses, a retired black-ops agent who’s been spending his time quietly growing an avocado and chatting up a cute young caseworker named Sarah Ross, played by Mary-Louise Parker of television’s “Weeds.”

After a mysterious incident at Frank’s home puts Sarah in danger from his deadly former career, he’s forced to gather together a group of fellow retired agents to fight back.

Willis does a great job playing an average guy who just happens to be a deadly former government killer. He’s calm, cool, collected and kind of adorable. Mary-Louise Parker is a so-so match for Willis.

The chemistry comes and goes between them, but her feisty antics help to keep her interesting. They just seem a little too far apart in age for each other. Frank feels more like Sarah’s friend, father, or even grandfather, than her romantic spy lover.

The side characters are also fun to watch in this movie. John Malkovich is hilariously frightening as the psychotic Marvin Boggs, a former government experiment who was given daily doses of LSD for a number of years.

He steals the show with his paranoid behavior, frolicking about the country with a huge stuffed pig and spouting off conspiracy theories.

Helen Mirren is also memorable as the deadly yet sweet British assassin, Victoria. While it feels like she was just thrown in at the last minute, she manages to steal your heart and make you laugh in the short time she’s allotted.

The action is pretty decent in this film. Nothing too intense happens that leaves you clinging to your seat, but at least you won’t be bored.
There are plenty of explosions, tons of blood, but nothing that really pushes the envelope.

Willis kicks a lot of butt, as should be expected of him, and Helen Mirren is also surprisingly fun to watch as she shoots some really bad guys with some really big guns.

The plot is a pretty basic one, and unless you’ve never seen a lot of spy movies, you’ll figure this one out pretty quick. It’s the characters, though, that leave you with a smile on your face at the end.

You come to really care for them, which I think can sometimes be a little more fun than a mind-bending plot twist or a twisted ending.

For a dollar at Cheap Seats, this is a movie well worth seeing.