What are actors the caliber of Helen Mirren, Morgan Freeman and John Malkovich doing in the new film "Red"? That was the question for which I needed an answer. And after having seen the film, I'd have to say, "a darn good job."
Based on a DC Comics miniseries, "Red" starts out with a major bang, and the action never lets up. Those providing it are a group of retired former Black Ops agents who reunite when one of them (Frank Moses, played by the sultan of smirk, Bruce Willis) is assaulted in his home. He fries bullets on the stove to thwart their efforts. Cool. When Frank discovers that his old cohorts are also being targeted for assassination, he assembles them on a cross-country mission, uncovering a huge conspiracy by the U.S. government.
"Red" is an action-comedy — with the emphasis on comedy. If you lose sight of that and get analytical about the plot, you won't enjoy the ride. Director Robert Schwentke ("The Time Traveler's Wife") pairs some fancy camerawork with a rockin' score, which creates a roller coaster fun fest. And what a cast. The chemistry between these amazing actors, who are obviously having a real good time, is perfection. The standout is Malkovich as the uber paranoid ex-CIA operative who was fed a daily dose of LSD for 10 years. He is unquestionably the king of kooky.
Honestly, I was expecting that patronizing approach that Hollywood often saves for aging stars (i.e. "The Bucket List") to be employed in this film and was pleasantly surprised. Aside from some lame dialogue, "Red" delivers the goods. Best of all, I found immense pleasure in watching old people kick some booty.
— Pam Nadon