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It seems that all Hollywood does nowadays is sit around and read comics, with seemingly every other film released is some sort of adaptation. At this rate you can look forward to a summer blockbuster consisting of stick figures that someone has doodled in the corner of their notebook, because – if “Red” is anything to go by – they are certainly running out of ideas.
Bruce Willis plays Frank Moses, a retired CIA agent who wakes up one day to find what seems like the entire world wanting to kill him. Dragging along the innocent Sarah (Mary-Louise Parker), he attempts to find out why he is being targeted, and soon discovers it links in with a mysterious mission he undertook many years before. Whilst being doggedly pursued by the young CIA agent William Cooper (Karl Urban), Moses re-unites with some old friends and discovers that – if you work for the secret service – you never truly retire.
With the likes of Willis, Helen Mirren, Morgan Freeman and John Malkovich (who is rather good as an insane former agent) this is very much a ‘grandchild’ movie (i.e. one in which the stars were begged to be in the movie by their grandchildren as ‘it would be cool’) with everyone concerned doing their best with material that is clearly beneath them. The plot is the stuff of countless other action/conspiracy movies and the action sequences – whilst clearly well put together – are nothing out of the ordinary. The film also lacks charm, as it’s tonally uneven, as it’s never sure whether it wants to be a hard-hitting thriller or a knowing comedy, and decides to go for an unsatisfying mix of the two.
It’s true that all the stars seem to be having great fun playing goodies and baddies and running around shooting things. But they could do the same thing paintballing, sparing us from having to watch them and avoiding having to spend 60 million U.S. dollars in the process. Unless you’re really desperate for an action film fix, “Red” doesn’t do enough to bring some color.
Now showing in all three countries.