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RED (2010)


Director: Robert Schwentke

Writers: Jon Hoeber & Erich Hoeber (screenplay), Warren Ellis and Cully Hammer (graphic novel)

Cast: Bruce Willis, Helen Mirren, John Malkovich, Mary-Louise Parker, Karl Urban, and Morgan Freeman ...

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA): PG-13 (for intense sequences of action violence and brief strong language)

Runtime: 111 min

Genres: Crime action/comedy

Reviewed by Cherie Jung

Frank Moses (Bruce Willis) is a former CIA black-ops agent, now retired, leading an unimaginably boring life. He has a sort of telephone based relationship with his case worker Sarah (Mary-Louis Parker) at the government pension processing center with his frequent calls regarding his pension checks, which he claims are missing. Sarah is just as bored and lonely as Frank until they meet. Then she has more excitement and action than she ever dreamed possible. It's a strange first date, but not the worst first date she's ever been on she remarks from the backseat of the getaway car Frank is using to try to elude the assassins.

Frank needs to reassemble his old team in a hurry because someone is hunting them down one by one and eliminating them. It's a sort of CIA version of The Blues Brothers, "We're getting' the band back together..."

Helen Mirren is hilarious as a retired assassin, now a sort of "Martha Stewart" type. She laments that she misses killing people. When Frank asks how she keeps sane in retirement, she explains she likes to keep her hand in the game by taking on the occasional outside contract. John Malkovich plays a paranoid crazy former operative, but a loveable crazy, not scary crazy. Morgan Freeman also plays one of the former agents, now designated in the business as RED - Retired Extremely Dangerous.

Many critics panned the movie when it was in theaters but I found it to be a fun and witty romp. The old pros prove there's nothing better than experience when the younger agents tasked with terminating them come to call. A slow beginning soon gives way to lots of action.

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