Red (2010) (R)
"Red" is a movie that completely surprised me. From the trailer, it looked like a semi-stupid, fun time with actors that I really like. When I was watching the movie for the first time, I remember thinking, "This movie actually has a plot". The sophistication of the movie is what catches you off-guard. This comedy actually has a brain.
Frank Moses is a man whose prime has passed and he knows it. He spends his day watching his avocado grow in a mason jar on his table and ripping up his government pension checks so he can call and complain about it to Sarah Ross, the only person he really feels he can talk to. Frank reads the same books that Sarah does so that they'll have something to talk about other than business and eventually their conversations become personal. They know about each other's live and loves...but not their pasts. And it's Frank's past that comes calling in the movie, which sets off the chain of reaction.
Bruce Willis's finest work is seen in "The Sixth Sense" and "Die Hard"; but unfortunately, the latter condemned him to being cast as the typical action star ever since. It was dramatic pieces like "The Sixth Sense" and "Unbreakable" that got overlooked. With "Red" there is a resurgence of Willis's acting prowess. It's a very underestimated role because not many people realize the depth to the character. He's a man whose being held captive by his aging body but his un-aging mind. The character is a combination of action and drama and I do believe that Willis is almost flawless in this role.
Frank has to flee his house and he tracks down Sarah and "convinces" her to come with him and he tries to unravel the mystery surrounding his past.
William Cooper is the man tracking Moses, he's also trying to bring sense to the madness; but in a different way. If Moses is the outlaw to the picture then Cooper is the law.
On the way to knowledge, Moses reunites with old colleagues that include the trigger happy, insane Marvin Boggs, the calmer Joe Matheson, and the deadly Victoria.
Joining Willis is an incredibly talented cast that includes Mary-Louise Parker, Morgan Freeman, Brian Cox, Karl Urban, John Malkovich, and Helen Mirren.
There's also a cameo appearance from an actor whose work has been appreciated many times, but that should remain a secret so I won't say anything about it.
"Red" is not just an action movie though it has very funny moments, most of which stemming from either Boggs or Victoria.
In today's youth obsessed society, it's nice to know that a work that is about aging and that presents elderly people in a positive way can be so well received.
"Red" is just charming. It's not too much of anything. It won't haunt you when you sleep and it's jokes will stick with you for a little while before you forget them.
It's not perfection, but it is an incredibly firm movie. It's doesn't give way to rabbit holes and has enough intrigue and reveal to satisfy just about everyone.
The subtleties of the film could go unnoticed. Even through all the jokes and the action and the bullets, there is a love story. It's a romantic movie, in more than one way.
"Red" doesn't try to become a nostalgia piece because all of the characters wish for the old days but are unable to return to them...strikingly realistic.
"Red" should merit multiple views, it's funny and entertaining all the way through.
Score: 3 and a half stars out of 4
Posted by Micah Jones