Thursday, 3 May 2012

DVD: RED (2010)

This have been on my buy when cheap enough list (otherwise known as Amazon wish list) for some time before I finally got round to buying and watching it and wondering why the hell I waited so long because it's great.

Based on a short graphic novel by Warren Ellis and Cully Hammer, the producers (or whoever) had the sense to keep only the idea and the skeleton of the story, flesh it out and hire some of the best actors of a certain age which also includes Brian Cox and Richard Dreyfuss, use a script peppered with great dialogue and lots of action, and let it loose.

Ex-CIA black ops agent Willis regularly phones an office in Kansas City ostensibly to complain about the non-appearance of his retirement cheque but really to flirt with the thirty-something woman (Mary-Louise Parker) who deals with his case. When, following the latest call, a CIA hit team arrive to take him out but get taken by him. He then drives to Kansas City to rescue/kidnap Parker before they get to her and then get in touch with old black ops buddies to find out what the hell has been going on.

Freeman is in an old people's home dying of cancer, Malkovitch is paranoid and living in a swamp, ex-MI6 hitwoman Mirren is living a gentile life in the American countryside. He also consults old Russian enemy Brian Cox who has a history with Mirren. Meanwhile immaculately dressed, ruthless CIA hitman Karl Urban (a fine actor when given the right role) is given the task of dealing with Willis and his team. Urban has only one flaw which is a tendency to independent thinking. I can't tell you Richard Dreyfuss' role in this or I'd have to kill you.

What you get is an action-packed but witty romp where all the cast are on top form and clearly having fun at the same time. There's great chemistry between the five leads -don't forget Parker, and Cox's part is more than a cameo. The action sequences are done well and watch out for John Malkovitch versus... but that would be telling. Sure it's a mindless piece of fluff but it also happens to be great entertainment and a sequel would be welcomed by me at least.

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