Films | Movie Reviews | FILM – RED-Review

FILM – RED-Review

Posted by FATEMA H.KAGALWALA on November 30, 2010 | No Comments

FILM – RED
PRODUCER – Lorenzo di Bonaventura
DIRECTOR – Robert Schwentke
WRITER – Jon Hoeber, Erich Hoeber (screenplay). Based on the graphic novel by Warren Ellis and Cully Hamner.
CAST – Bruce Willis, Helen Mirren, Morgan Freeman
MUSIC – Christophe Beck

They were men and women made of steel.  These one-time top agents of the CIA, who even ‘toppled governments’ are now being mercilessly hunted. Its part vendetta, part a clean-up act. Stakes are high, danger is explosive, names involved are big and time is running out. Frank Moses (Bruce Willis) is the prime target and getting to the bottom of the mystery he figures there are other people too who have been dealt the same fate or are targets.

A team starts falling in place as he tries to save his life as well as solve the puzzle. The motley team comprises of ex-agents as  deadly as Moses; Joe (Morgan Freeman), Marvin (John Malkovich) and Victoria (Helen Mirren). Thrown into this cocktail is Sarah (Mary-Louise Parker), Frank’s romantic interest he has been able to pursue only on the phone as yet. She becomes a target too because of her connection with Frank and he has no choice but to take her on the run with him, to protect her.

In a slow-paced languid manner, director Robert Schwentke details the deadly man-hunt that the team is involved in. Surprising treatment for a thriller, it works especially because of the subtle over-lay of quirk and cuteness. The deadliness remains, the danger is palpable but the quirk and unhurried pace makes a pleasant combination. Done with balance and a tight grip on the flow, the central focus of the story always remaining the chase.Hence unfolds an entertaining thriller of a bunch of retired agents, who even though old have not lost their edge and prove they are still baying for blood. Like Victoria says, ‘You can’t just press a switch and flip over to the other side.’ So true about most things in life.

The light romantic thread the film keeps together manages to show the human, vulnerable side of the agents and contrasts it superbly with the stony-faced death they deal with as a job. Frank’s softness is aroused by Sarah’s slightly dreamy person and her spirit of adventure perked up by his fearlessness. Victoria and Ivan find their love again which had really not gone anywhere, just circumstances keeping them apart. Marvin is more or less the out and out comic relief and Malkovich plays his senile delusional character to sweet perfection. Bruce Willis plays a retired agent but with no sign of tired-ness or age and the same charisma and energy is exhibited by Helen Mirren. Mary Louise Parker balances the dreamy, adventure-seeking ‘little girl’ in her perfectly with the adult of the world and matches steps with the toughies around them, without pretensions. However, Morgan Freeman seems wasted in a role that does injustice to the veteran, both in terms of scope and length.

Its a great film to watch for that much-needed healthy dose of thrill and laughs, we always crave in a package that is definitely not run-of-the-mill.

FATEMA H.KAGALWALA

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