Thursday, 9 January 2014

Red (2010)

You know this idea had to come along at some point. Take the basic action premise of various spy flicks like Bond 'Mission: Impossible' and 'True Lies', then make the main characters retired old agents, super spy pensioners.

The plot is pretty much like any other flick in this genre, corruption that leads all the way up to the top, assassinations, intrigue and cover ups. Its Bruce Willis and his ex-team members who have been targeted by the CIA for termination due to previous unearthed information. So its up to them to get to the bottom of the it and uncover...errr the cover up.

The film is yet another comic book adaptation of another comic I've never heard of so I can't compare. A lavish cast from top to bottom because its a big Hollywood production, thusly the visuals and action are also lavish as hell. Now whether or not this is a good thing I'm not sure, I don't know how accurate this is to the comic book firstly and secondly I think it can take away from the whole experience because its too 'Hollywood-ish.'

There's nothing wrong with a glossy action thriller but they do tend to look the same. You don't really feel invested in the story because its all so neat, clean and shiny, there's no grit, no real sense of danger, all the cast are dolled up in layers of obvious makeup (Mirren) and you know no one of any real importance is gonna die and if they do chances are they will come back in the sequel.

That being said I can't deny this film is a reasonably fun ride with semi decent action sequences that all do look quite comic book-esque. The sharp visuals do give it a certain bold colourful style that comes across as quirky but with some dark undertones. I do like how the film is violent to a degree, its not a blood bath but you do see bullet hits, injuries and plenty of death...yet it seems to get tamer towards the end methinks. My best description would be akin to 'Kick-Ass' but not as violent and without the profanity. It is quite fun to see older action heroes taking out elite hit squads, the sight of Helen Mirren using a massive tripod mounted anti tank machine gun in a ball gown was quite funny.

It is all very predictable to be honest, this ain't no Bourne plot folks, did you really think Willis would lose his damsel in distress?. Some good action sequences, amusing dialog mainly coming from Malkovich who was the best character by far and a really good fight between Urban and Willis amazingly. The very end sequence unfortunately is too daft and comes across more like a Monty Python moment rather than a top action flick. For people like myself who don't know anything about the comic book the hook is old folk as super spies which is admittedly fun, apart from that its basically business as usual with nothing too ground breaking going on.