'Red' is fun, filled with star power

2010-10-19T10:54:00Z 2010-10-19T11:00:36Z 'Red' is fun, filled with star powerLinda Cook The Quad-City Times
October 19, 2010 10:54 am  • 

Yes, it's silly. But "Red" is above-average because it boasts so much serious star power.

Based on a DC comic, viewers "of a certain age" are going to enjoy seeing all of these stars together in an unlikely assembly that's simply fun to watch.

The central character is Frank, played by Bruce Willis. The movie does a nice job establishing the routine of his humdrum life in Cleveland: Care for his avocado plant, buy some Christmas decorations for his home, eat alone in his modest kitchen.

His one highlight is when he gets to talk to Sarah (Mary-Louise Parker), a customer service representative in Kansas City with whom he shares a sweetly flirtatious banter.

All continues in the same-old, same-old vein until a battalion of assassins arrives at Frank's home in the middle of the night. Frank may be retired, but he's on his toes. And even though his house is left in shambles, Frank manages to escape unharmed.

He heads to Kansas City because he knows Sarah is in danger. Someone is listening in on Frank's conversations and watching his every move - and that someone wants him dead. He arrives unexpectedly in Sarah's apartment and kidnaps her to keep her safe as he travels around, collecting his former spy colleagues and even one former nemesis.

Now the "Red" (Retired - Extremely Dangerous) team must get together again to find out what's going on behind the slayings that include a reporter. The troupe includes Joe (Morgan Freeman), who lives in a retirement home, paranoid but brainy Marvin (John Malkovich), KGB operative Ivan (Brian Cox) and weapons expert Victoria (Helen Mirren).

The movie is kind of a road trip as the group travels from one place to another, seeking clues to who wants them dead.

My favorite part, although it's a small one, is played by none other than Ernest Borgnine, who portrays Henry, the records keeper. Borgnine (I will always think of "Marty" and "The Dirty Dozen" when someone speaks his name) is arguably one of the greatest actors who ever lived (he's one of my personal favorites) and it's just a joy to see him here.

"Red" is fun, but it isn't memorable. Its performers, however, most certainly are.

 

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