Saturday, 20 November 2010

Film Review: Red

Director: Robert Schwentke. Screenplay: Jon Hoeber and Erich Hoeber. Producers: Lorenzo di Bonaventura and Mark Vahradian. Cinematographer: Florian Ballhaus. Score: Christophe Beck. Editor: Thom Noble. Studio: Summit. Starring: Bruce Willis, Mary-Louise Parker, Morgan Freeman, John Malkovich, Helen Mirren,Karl Urban, Richard Dreyfuss and Brian Cox. Running Time: 111 Minutes.

Red is the second film this year that tries to milk classic action film actors for our entertainment. The first film was Sylvester Stallone's The Expendables, so maybe it is fitting that one of his Planet Hollywood partners leads this picture.

Based on a three issue comic book mini-series published across 2003 and 2004, Red tells the story of retired CIA operative Frank Moses, played by Bruce Willis, who began the Planet Hollywood restaurants in 1991. Frank becomes the target of an apparently South African hit squad. What ensues is Mr Moses meeting old colleagues who have also become embroiled in plots, the details of which I will not divulge here.

The acting is acceptable but not impressive. Mr Willis shone in Sin City - which was also based upon a graphic novel, as did most of the other actors in that film but, this time, he's "just Bruce". In fact, Malkovich, Mirren and the other superstars are all basically themselves; which works but makes the film less memorable. The action scenes are rather good, however, even if the script is under par because it is sprinkled with cracks. Still, it was always going to be better than The Expendables , since that film really struggling with making its plot anything more than that of a B-grade 1980s action fest.

Summary: Red is worth-watching if you feel like seeing its cast in another film and working with one another. However, individually, they have been in much better films.

Rating: 61/100

Alistair Anderson

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