Year of release: 2010
Director: Robert Schwentke
Stars: Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman, John Malkovich, Helen Mirren, Mary Louise Parker, Brian Cox, Karl Urban, Rebecca Pidgeon, Richard Dreyfuss, James Remar, Ernest Borgnine, Audrey Wasilewski
Genre: Action, Comedy
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 6
Synopsis:Robert Schwentke has made a name for himself thus far with two films that were hits at the box office, namely "Flightplan" with Jodie Foster and "The Time Traveler's Wife" with Rachel McAdams. "Red" is an adaptation of a graphic novel by Warren Ellis and Cully Hamner and it stands for "Retired and Extremely Dangerous" (as in operatives of the CIA who are retired). The film follows Frank Moses, an ex-military man, who lives by himself and who calls Sarah Ross, a social security worker, every month concerning his pension, just in the hopes of talking with her and potentially asking her out. His plans are thwarted when he suddenly becomes the target for an assassination plot, alongside Sarah, whom he has to pick up and keep safe in order to discover who is behind the attempts to have them both killed. Along the way, he seeks the aid of his former friends, also retired operatives.
The major strength of this film is obviously the fantastic cast that Robert Schwentke has assembled: every single actor is more than accomplished and it's a delight to see them bring to life characters that are little more than cliches. But, they do relish and have fun with the roles and the film embarks in a tone that can best be described as light comedic with a strong action undercurrent. The tone of the film is very much coherent with the graphic novel style, but where it does earn extra points is in the fact that it adds a light and comedic tone to it. The actors are of course uniformly good, from Bruce Willis, to Mary Louise Parker to the award winning ones like Morgan Freeman, Helen Mirren and of course John Malkovich who is always a treat. A hightlight goes to Florian Balhaus, the cinematographer, son of the fantastic (and retired) Michael Balhaus, who is a fantastic cinematographer. An entertaining film worth watching.