After trading in his professional past as a black-ops CIA operative for a new identity, Frank Moses (Bruce Willis) is basking in normality. But he’s forced to return to old habits when an assassin puts a target on his back and goes after the woman (Mary-Louise Parker) he loves. Helen Mirren and John Malkovich co-star as former members of Frank’s team who reluctantly reassemble to save his life in this Golden Globe-nominated action-comedy.
Rating: 3 out of 10
Red is a bad movie. There’s no way around it. I tried to focus on the positive elements of this film. The cast is fantastic all around, particularly Hellen Mirren and John Malkovich. They chew up every scene they’re in and deliver the dialogue in a fun and engaging way. Bruce Willis is also good, as he always is, playing the action hero (a role he was born to play going all the way back to 1988’s Die Hard).
But, I have to point out that the story just plain sucks. It centers on the idea that the Vice President wants to kill a group of ex-CIA soldiers that witnessed his war crimes years and years ago in South America. That’s it…..boooorrriiinngg! It also brings up several questions: Why the hell would he wait 20+ years to take them out? Also, who was talking about his war crimes or threatening to go public? Not a soul! It’s such a huge gaping hole in the plot that is never explained and can’t be excused away as: “Well, it’s just an action movie.” All movies, regardless of genre, have to give me a reason to give a shit about what I’m experiencing. Red gives me zero reasons to stay attentive except for the great cast that is given nothing to do that’s remotely interesting. In fact, I can’t remember a film that had this much action that was so boring. There’s very little danger, no one dies, and the situations are just flat out ridiculous. For example, Bruce Willis has a shootout with a character on a city street. Well, you could call it a city street except for the fact that THERE’S NO PEOPLE ON IT!!! Then, there’s another scene where Bruce Willis breaks into the CIA headquarters, which can apparently be done if you dress in a general’s uniform and have a special contact lens. Once he’s inside the headquarters, he goes to the file room where he meets an old CIA rep. who is old friends with him and hands him the whole file he needs. Why didn’t he just give him a call and meet up with him outside? The mere fact that I’m figuring out all this shit after one viewing and the makers of this turd lived with it for years is just shocking.