You know the fun thing about committing to do movie Mondays (and book reviews on Thursday)? It gives me a reason make the effort (and it's such a huge one, what with Netflix on the Wii and Blockbuster around the corner) to sit down with the dogs and watch a movie every week.
Friday night we watched RED, something that one reviewer called and action movie for the AARP crowd. I'm not sure this is fair, but I will say that my mom enjoyed watching it with me. I will also say that Bruce Willis will have to be in a walker before I will stop enjoying him in an action movie (and even then, I'm not ruling it out). And plus, Karl Urban. *swoon*
The premise is these ex-CIA operatives are all retired (RED: Retired Extremely Dangerous), and someone starts trying to kill them to cover up an old incident. The whys and wherefores aren't as important as the excuse to cast Bruce Willis plus three elder statesmen of acting as hella dangerous hit-persons: Morgan Freeman, Helen Mirren, and John Malkovich
The result was a tremendous amount of fun. I was glad that I knew this was based on a graphic novel going in, so I had checked my disbelief safely at the door, and was along for ride. Was it a taut thrill ride? No. Did enjoy the whole thing? Absolutely.
I think one of the reasons it wasn't quite as pulse pounding as it might have been was that all the retirees are SO competent, I never doubted their eventual success. I loved watching HOW they pulled things off, but I knew it would all work out. It was fun seeing them get the better of the bad guys, but if I never doubted they would.
The actors were clearly having a great time, and they all committed to both their characters and the inherent action-movie, comic-book-y... Let's say whimsy of the plot and premise.
It's not going to make you gasp at the pacing or the clever plot twists, but it did make me laugh to see how the REDs, dismissed by the younger generation, got the better of everyone without really breaking a sweat.
Some people think this was a disappointing vehicle for so much talent. I think perhaps the basic premise that makes the movie fun and unique also worked against it. To me, it seemed like the cast was having fun making a send up of the typical blockbuster thrillers: These folks who can out-act most action movie casts before they've had their morning coffee playing characters who's skill and experience make typical action movie antics look easy. It's a dual "Let me show you kids how it's done" premise that is awesome.... but a walk in the park isn't quite as exciting as the underdog overcoming impossible odds.
However, I really enjoyed watching this. "Fun" is not faint praise. It was a great movie to watch while sharing pizza with the dogs.