Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Penny Thoughts ‘13—Red (2010) ***

PG-13, 111 min.
Director: Robert Schwentke
Writers: Jon Hoeber, Erich Hoeber, Warren Ellis (graphic novel), Cully Hamner (graphic novel)
Starring: Bruce Willis, Mary-Louise Parker, John Malkovich, Morgan Freeman, Karl Urban, Rebecca Pigeon, Helen Mirren, Brian Cox, Richard Dreyfuss, Ernest Borgnine, James Remar, Julian McMahon

The last time I wrote about this movie, I was just gaga over the casting. Nothing else in the film much mattered to me. Perhaps that wasn’t giving it enough credit. Sure, “Red” is just an excuse to get some older actors together and put them in some action scenarios where we don’t usually see players this far past their “prime” and prove that the prime can come in the golden years. However, Robert Schwentke does work some pretty good magic with the camera here and there.

There are sequences like the shootout at Bruce Willis’s house with the whole neighborhood decked out for Christmas. I forgot this was a Christmas movie. I might have to add it to the rotation, with “Die Hard” and “Lethal Weapon”. The images of the bullet casings covering the street while the gunmen continue to walk forward and fire on the poor house are impressive. Sure they never reload, but you have to sacrifice some reality for the visual artistry.

Other notable sequences visually would be the one when Willis steps out of the spinning car and begins firing upon his assailant before the car even stops. The sequence where John Malkovich shoots the shoulder rocket in mid air, obliterating the woman who fired it is not only visually striking, but it’s also quite funny. The fight in Karl Urban’s office is also quite impressive in its choreography. Who cares that someone from one of the other offices would surely hear the commotion and put Willis down. This movie is more about the fun than the real anyway.

Speaking of fun. I’ve come to the conclusion that Mary-Louise Parker is just about the most fun person in Hollywood. I know that’s not really her on screen, but she seems like the type of girl that I would’ve developed a crush on in high school because she’s so down to earth depressed and yet bubbly and ready to do just about anything all at once. She’s fun. In fact, I did know a girl like her in high school. We tried dating, but we worked better as awesome friends. I’d still develop that crush, though.

Anyway… Nope, there’s nothing deep to be found here in “Red”. It’s just a damn fun time watching a movie. Sometimes that’s all you need.

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