REVIEW: RED starring Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman, John Malcovich and Weeds

Posted by under *mixed, Comics, Movies |

Last week we ran a preview of the fall movie RED starring Bruce Willis. If you had actually read that primer, you may have wondered, “Why are you writing a primer for a movie that doesn’t come out for over two months?” Well as it turns out, the real question is “Why is Summit screening the film two months early?” Because on Friday I got to be part of “one of the first audiences in the country” to see RED.

The movie stars Willis, Morgan Freeman, John Malkovich, and Helen Mirren as retired government assassins. The chick from Weeds plays a potential love interest for Willis and the dude from Nip/Tuck plays the Vice President of the United States.

Take a minute to enjoy the trailer.

Just to get it out of the way, as I suspected when I wrote the primer, the RED film bares very little resemblance to the RED book after the first few minutes. Ellis wrote a brooding, intense, extremely violent, fairly hopeless story, while Willis and company made the Whole Eleven Yards. Paul Moses of the book is a monster who has committed horrible acts and is living with that fact. Frank Moses of the movie is described by Helen Mirren as “gooey” as he tries to win the affection of his love interest Weeds. Basically, if you’re a fan of the Warren Ellis series, don’t get your hopes up about this film. It’s not nearly as loyal as 300 or Watchmen or even Scott Pilgrim vs. the World.

So having said all that, RED is pretty fun though pedestrian in its aspirations. John Malkovich runs wild playing the role of a mentally unstable, conspiracy theorist, ex-assassin. Willis plays his typical loveable yet deadly persona. Weeds shows up as a square thrust into an extraordinary situation who learns to revel in it. So basically it’s all stuff we’ve seen before…

We were warned before the film screened that some of the CGI on the film was not quite finished. There were moments that this was obvious, but they were mostly strange moments like scenes shot in cars when the characters are just driving around or when the camera follows a grenade through the air. Moments that you definitely wouldn’t expect to rely so heavily on CGI.

RED is designed to be a crowd pleaser. It’s watchable and funny, even if it doesn’t aspire to be anything special. I guess every movie can’t be like Inception or Scott Pilgrim vs. the World.

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