RED: Yellow, Black and White, This Movie is Dynamite!

15 10 2010

Ok, so I’ve resorted to rhyming. But RED has instilled in me a sense of giddy cinematic delight I’ve not felt in…well, a while. Based on the DC Comics series of the same name, RED manages to combine action and comedy successfully, a feat that tickles me pink – ok, I’m done with the color puns. Here’s the breakdown:

Frank Moses is a retired CIA operative, having trouble adjusting to a routine, boring life. But when he’s the target of an assassination attempt, Frank embarks on a mission to uncover the truth. To help, Frank seeks out his old comrades – a group of retired, yet extremely dangerous individuals with a deadly set of skills to be reckoned with.

The Monkey: From the start, RED promises to be genuinely funny. It helps that the cast is comprised of real comic, veteran talent. Bruce Willis, Mary-Louise Parker, Morgan Freeman, John Malkovich, Brian Cox, Helen Mirren, Richard Dreyfuss – yeah, it’s a pretty sweet line-up. Each one of these actors is brilliant, bringing their own special flavor to the mix. With such a large ensemble, it’s easy for characters to fade into the background; not so here. The characters feel real and personable, and the audience is left with the impression that there are legitimate and colorful backstories for each player.

It was nice to see Bruce Willis in his element. While action comedies seem to be his forte, recent films have failed to provide Willis with the ideal conditions for success. The most recent Die Hard movie was mostly action, with a few one-liners; Cop Out was too much forced, unfunny comedy. But RED gives Willis the opportunity to do what he does best: understated, subtle comedy with some kick-ass ass-kicking thrown in for good measure.

Mary-Louise Parker really impressed and held her own against a cast of established film actors. Her predominately TV filmography may pale in comparison to her co-stars, but RED proves that her Weeds-honed comedy chops have prepared her well for more big-screen roles.

Aside from the great acting and the countless laugh-out-loud moments, RED kicks some major butt. Rocket launchers, piles of bullet shells, grenades, slow-motion clouds of flame – RED offers up some of the most gratuitous, cheer-worthy action scenes to grace the silverscreen for a while.

The Weasel: The movie felt over-long. While it’s only 111 minutes, the movie’s linear plot felt more like a chain of adventures (most likely due to its serialized origins) and less like a distinguishable arc. There was also a sub-plot involving Willis’ character’s desire to live a “normal” life, and while RED addressed this thread with a laugh-and-a-wink, the writers should have spent a bit more time here – it was a great opportunity to give the movie a bit more substance, amid the guffaws and the gunfire.

RED will make you laugh, clap and cheer – it’s an action/comedy that lives up equally to its dual label.

4.5 Death Stars out of 5

What do you think? Do you like Bruce Willis in action comedies? Have you read the graphic novels? Share your thoughts in the comments!

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6 responses

15 10 2010
Cal

I think this is one of the best action/comedies I have ever seen!

17 10 2010
scarletsp1der

very good review! I, once again, agree with your statements in my own review. Interesting how we often seem to see things very similarly..even down to ratings. Nice job sir!

17 10 2010
scarletsp1der

p.s. I actually liked the title very much! Wish I woulda thought of it first!

18 10 2010
Dustin

Lol, glad you liked the movie…and the review title! 🙂

5 11 2010
Cassandra Okamoto

how did I just see this review right now!? I have been wanting to go see it now I HAVEEE to, ASAP! can’t wait!

5 11 2010
Dustin

It’s so good! Let me know what you think 🙂

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