Retired, Extremely Dull

Despite promising actors 'Red' is a letdown

Just what we need, another movie about a group of people coming together to take on the government. There was the 2010 remake of the 70s show "The A Team." Before that, a comic book-based movie "The Losers."
This time it's four retired CIA agents played by Bruce Willis, John Malkovitch, Morgan Freeman, and Helen Mirren who come together to settle one last score. Director Robert Schwentke's "Red" is based on a comic book series published by DC Comics. And that's mostly what the movie is. A fantasy about a dream team. Where no matter how bad things get they always succeed.
Bruce Willis plays Frank Moses, a former CIA agent who has a normal life until he is targeted by a group of one-dimensional bad guys because of some complications he faced in his past and is labeled "Red" or "Retired Extremely Dangerous." So, along with his love interest Sarah (Mary Louis Parker) he assembles his old team made up of Mirren, Malkovitch and Morgan to find out who it is and get even.
The directing by Schwentke, despite a few parts where the movie stalled, was fast paced and sleek. Schwentke used some clever camera shots and effects, like whenever the action would cut to some new location the screen would first show a postcard of that place and then fade into the real thing.
As for the Reds themselves, they were nothing compared to The A Team. Willis was a complete and utter bore considering he was the lead. He phoned in the same wise guy routine he did back in the awful 2009 film "Cop Out." As for Mirren and Freeman, they did what they could with the dull characters they were given.
The best of the bunch was John Malkovitch who played Marvin, a semi-insane member of the group. The role was meant for Malkovitch and he definitely outshined everyone else in his scenes. But in the rest of the team's defense, Malkovtich had the more energetic role to play. It's always more fun to watch the crazy person.
The script by Jon Hoeber and Erich Hoeber was well written. The dialogue was solid and it kept you laughing, most of it coming from Malkovitch. Although it might have been better if it was a little more serious. It would have given the film a sort of exciting, gritty and suspenseful tone instead of a comic book one.
The major problem with "Red" was that it just went down the same old action movie path and followed the run and shoot formula we saw in "Knight and Day" and so many others.
The characters would go somewhere, have a gunfight, go somewhere else and have another gunfight and so on. Eventually you got restless and wanted the movie to end already.
'Red' is playing at most theaters in Seattle[[In-content Ad]]