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RED (2010)

Film review: RED (2010), directed by Robert Schwentke

redFrank Moses (Bruce Willis) is retired and lonely and keeps phoning up a callcentre about his pension so he can chat with Sarah Ross (Mary-Louise Parker). He’s coming to town, he says, and asks her out. She doesn’t believe him. But Frank is no ordinary retiree.

Frank is in fact a former CIA operative and has a kill-squad after him, which he discovers in the middle of the night when they come a-knockin’. Or rather, come a-shootin’.

Frank flees to Sarah, who was quite happy to be chatted up on the phone as she never thought she’d actually meet the guy, but when he suddenly appears in her living room one night when she comes home, she’s less than thrilled. That the kill-squad have followed him and she’s now in terrible danger also doesn’t go down well. Nor does being kidnapped …

As far as Frank’s concerned, it’s time to assemble the old team and get to the bottom of things. Who is trying to kill a bunch of retired black ops, and why?

The team includes Joe Matheson (Morgan Freeman), who now lives in an old folks home; batshit insane paranoic Marvin Boggs (John Malkovich), who lives in a bunker so “They” can’t see him; and sophisticated upper-class lady Victoria (Helen Mirren). There’s also a former Russian spy (Brian Cox) involved …

Also starring Karl Urban, James Remar, Richard Dreyfuss, Cynthia Wilkes and Julian McMahon.

When the trailers came out for this film, I thought it looked like a lot of fun, but we never ended up seeing it at the cinema. Never mind, we caught it on DVD instead. And a lot of fun it is. Perhaps not quite as OMG THIS IS HILARIOUS as I thought it might be, but definitely very amusing and action-packed. And it’s based on a graphic novel! See, it’s not just all about caped superheroes.

The actors are … well, let’s be honest: MORGAN FREEMAN and HELEN MIRREN. They really need no further introduction! Neither do a bunch of the others, but those two are really superb. Bruce Willis and action comedies are a great combination. He’s not just a great action dude but he’s also really funny, as has already been shown by films like Blind Date and The Whole Nine Yards. John Malkovich as an eccentric military guy? Yup, I totally buy that. Great cast, and I don’t just mean them, but everyone.

If you want an action with all guns blazing while at the same time plenty of lulz, this is a great choice for a film. You could definitely do a lot worse. I’ve heard there’s a sequel in the works too, so that’ll be fun.

3.9 out of 5 nurses.

Traxy Thornfield

A Swedish introvert residing in Robin Hood Country (Nottingham, UK) with a husband and two cats. She's an eager participant in tabletop and play-by-post roleplaying, woodworking, photography and European travel. Will get a novel out one of these days, if she doesn't get too distracted along the way.

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