You want action, you want excitement, and you want to see Red? Let’s get something crystal clear right at the get go: if you’re going to see Red you’re not going to be privy to anything resembling Die Hard or any other action-fueled cinematic classic. Instead, you’re going to be watching a rather cartoonish movie as ridiculous levels of violence ensue, carried out by aging actors who prove that they can kick ass with the best of them.
Red is the movie you take a few friends to; not many though or afterwards you’ll have one too many people questioning your movie taste. Sitting through no-holds barred, comic-stylized action, with Bruce Willis at the helm, accompanied by Morgan Freeman, Helen Mirren, and John Malkovich, all insanely accomplished actors is not something you see everyday. Witnessing four individuals who might be expected to be in a dramatic role but instead raining down all manners of hellfire on unsuspecting bad guys is a thrill; about that I’m not gonna lie.
The whole point of going to watch a movie such as Red is so that you can sit back, enjoy, and not focus on anything for two hours. Much like The Expendables, the philosophy behind this particular film resides in providing a sense of escapism, and for the most part, that’s just fine. To go wrong with a cast of A list actors has been done before, but thankfully Red always manages to catch itself before it falls head over heels. Then again, you’re not supposed to take Red too seriously. If you fall into that trap, then there’s no salvation for you.
John Malkovich and Bruce Willis steal the show from everyone else, and for good reason. Malkovich’s manic and insane behavior helps not only drive the movie forward, but makes it funny. As it is, Malkovich is probably already insane, and upping the ante to where he’s a retired CIA operative who had been tested daily with large doses of LSD for a decade, is not a gigantic stretch of the imagination. Willis, of course, is the tough guy we have all come to know and love. Were it not for the movie’s every other renowned star, this might as well have been a comedic Die Hard 5.
As you can imagine, the movie has its share of flaws. How the good guys ever escape from certain situations is undetermined. One minute they’re in a flight tower, under siege from a hail of gunfire, the next they are scurrying along the ground making a quick escape; hell, they might have teleported for all we know. How they form their plans or get the funding is also never explained, or for that matter how they are capable of eluding an enemy all but several feet behind them. You can only accept that these people were part of the CIA and are certified in all manner of ass kicking.
Sometimes the film’s pacing is off and you’re left with a sense of boredom, other times there’s nothing better than watching Malkovich perform all manner of frenzied antics. I found myself with mixed emotions while viewing Red. At periods I desired nothing more than the sweet release of the ending credits, and yet, maybe Willis’s awesome personality is to blame, I discovered that a soft spot for Red had grown within my heart when I wasn’t looking.
I’m a big believer in that a good many movies deserve a chance. Red is certainly an entertaining flick and a fairly decent way to spend a Friday night. Young or old, anyone should be able to enjoy Red. It’s rare action movies allow themselves to be appreciated by the masses, by those of any age group; old age in this case does not mean retirement. Heck, if this is what it means to be retired, then I can’t wait till I’m older.