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    October 30, 2010

    MOVIE REVIEW: RED

    RED (English/18)
    Genre: Action/Comedy
    Release Date: 21 October 2010
    Distributor: Summit Entertainment
    Running Time: 111 minutes
    Directors: Robert Schwentke
    Producers: Lorenzo di Bonaventura, Mark Vahradian
    Writers: Jon Hoeber, Erich Hoeber
    Casts: Bruce Willis, Mary-Louise Parker, Morgan Freeman, John Malkovich, Helen Mirren, Karl Urban, Richard Dreyfuss, Brian Cox
    Plot: Frank (Bruce Willis), Joe (Morgan Freeman), Marvin (John Malkovich) and Victoria (Helen Mirren) used to be the CIA's top agents - but the secrets they know just made them the Agency's top targets. Now framed for assassination, they must use all of their collective cunning, experience and teamwork to stay one step ahead of their deadly pursuers and stay alive. To stop the operation, the team embarks on an impossible, cross-country mission to break into the top-secret CIA headquarters, where they will uncover one of the biggest conspiracies and cover-ups in government history.

    THE VERDICT

    Never call them the old men or else you may get a serious blown-up somewhere. The action-comedy RED boosted itself out from the random three-issues property handled by DC Comic to illustrate a bunch of retired CIA and other intelligence agencies who may need to adjust their life back into the society. However, little did Frank Moses knew that some of the past jobs have come back to silent him. Sarah Ross, the woman Moses loved and mostly spending his time by calling her was dragged into the situation as well. As a retaliation against the people who are trying to kill him, he enlisted fellow CIA teammates Joe Matheson (Morgan Freeman), Marvin Boggs (John Malkovich) and Victoria (Dame Helen Mirren), who are also being targeted for unknown reasons. Together with the help of a Russian Secret Agent, Ivan Simanov (Brian Cox), they try to unravel all the secrets and conspiracies.

    RED is playing like any other movies that deal with espionage and conspiracy theory. Think of it as The Losers with older and mature ambitions, or The A-Team with dynamic skills too far out of reach for a veteran. Robert Schwentke whose last work was making The Time Traveler's wife did some decent job when trying to handle a bunch of retiree. First off, RED placed with a lot of styles, skills and wits that have seen out-gun many other prolific similar themes title. RED comes with a package of mixture of testosterone and estrogen, balancing the creativity and over-the-top action notches that gives plenty of excitement and thrills. For that, RED delivers a strong performance that should be fun and enjoyable ride for some geriatric adventure.

    While RED plays as a fast-paced romps that holds together, I have to say there are some unevenness at certain point. The opening 15 minutes is slow and does little indication that it is actually an action movie, where audience was served with the candy love flirt session of Frank and Sarah. Then, the adrenaline pumps in quick with the first attempt of eliminating Frank. Then, the introduction of key characters like Victoria and Ivan came a little too late in the movie - about an hour into it. After all, while the pace and logic aren't a big issues in the movie, but overuse of such elements can destroy the movie. The dialogs are not memorable and the story in overall isn't compelling or significantly interesting. Instead, RED relies on the recycle plot about agent coming out of retirement - remember Taken? That's even better than this.

    From my opinion, I didn't expect so much from this movie headlined by Bruce Willis. But considering the ensemble casts in this movie, it is more than enough to just to bite your fingers off and cursing the movie. The casts interaction are swift while the quality of acting is as its norm of versatility. Bruce Willis is okay, Freeman lacked some punching considering he is terminally ill, Malkovich is wacky, Mirren is elegant that it is hard to see her as a killer while Parker did a nice gel around girl.

    So to summarize it all, RED is awesome if you know how to have fun, but it may stinks if you take things too seriously. RED will remain as a passable action comedy film that satisfies the outrageous fun for no more than any other films. It is just a normal passable flick.

    THE RATING
    Story - 3.0 stars
    Casts - 3.5 stars
    Cinematography - 3.0 stars
    Effects - 3.0 stars
    OVERALL - 3.0 stars
    GREEN-TEA-O-METER: 12.6
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