Film Review: RED

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RED for me sort of came out of nowhere and took me completely by surprise. I liked the concept from the trailer: RED, Retired, Extremely Dangerous. I think what sold it for me from the trailer alone was seeing Helen Mirren behind a machine gun. It was great in the trailer and even better in the film.

I love the film from start to finish; it is a classic action thriller, with the dash of comedy. Bruce Willis brings the experience of being an action hero to the screen (and the scene of him exiting a spinning vehicle to fire at Karl Urban still give me goosebumps), while Morgan Freeman brings a grounding into reality, John Malkovich brings paranoia, and Helen Mirren is just elegant and kick ass.

However, I especially love Mary Louise Parker, who isn’t RED, but just an average normal woman who gets caught up in the conspiracy and having the time of her life. Her chemistry with Willis’ character is pitch perfect, and while most people wouldn’t relate to the situation they find themselves in, but their desire to protect each other is very believable.

I can remember when I first watched it that I had thought the actions sequences, some of the direction and the transition styles were very comic-booky, with good reason apparently as I later learnt. RED is a comic book movie, and more than that it is a DC movie, which I will admit shocked me a little bit. If I was forced to choose between DC and Marvel, then I am a Marvel girl, very much because of the X-Men, but in part also because the Marvel Cinematic Universe. I love DC, but I do find it a bit grim and a lot more serious than Marvel, which is why I was very surprised with RED because while it certainly is serious in places, it really doesn’t take itself too seriously.

I think that light touch approach is what makes the film so brilliant. None of the RED characters need to try; Willis, Freeman, Malkovich and Mirren have approached their characters portrayal with an air of effortlessness and practicality. They don’t put in more than they need to in order to complete the tasks at hand and the confidence they imbue just pours off the screen. Despite being retired, they are extremely dangerous because they have no doubt in their abilities.

When compared to Karl Urban’s character you can see the generational differences; Urban’s character is very much of the ‘try to have it all’ generation with a wife and kids that makes him vulnerable. The rest sacrificed all of that, which is why Willis’ character is now trying to find that now in retirement.  It does however pay off for Urban, because I think that grounding in reality is what makes him as practical as Willis’ character and helps him to make the judgement of who to trust in the end, because normal people are trusting and generally decent.

I absolutely adore the film; it is easily one of my favourites from DC, and I strongly recommended it because you get laughs, actions and three dimensional characters in a seamless and effortless thriller.

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About kabrown4

A quaint life full of teacups searched for inspiration to fuel a writer dreaming of fantasy worlds that are full of friends found only in words. I have been writing for as long as I can remember and over the years I have developed many stories and many characters. This is my blog about the journeys I've been on over the years, and the road I'm still travelling as a writer.

2 responses »

  1. I’ve been in love with Mary Louise Parker for as long as I can remember…the first REDS was good (the sequel not so much). I didn’t really understand why they killed off Morgan Freeman halfway through the film, maybe he initially only showed up for a few days of shooting because he had other commitments and so that was what they came up with to explain why he wasn’t in the entire movie.

    Bruce Willis always surprises me. In principle, he almost always plays the same type of character, and so I don’t think of him as a “great” actor, but he picks a lot of good scripts, so that should count for something.

    • I have to agree with you when it comes to Bruce Willis – he seems to always be the same character, with the only difference being how much he’s allowed to swear based on the rating of the film.

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