RED (2010)

TMG Scale 3.0
Embarrassingly starring Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman, Helen Mirren, John Malkovich, Brian Cox, Mary-Louise Parker, Ernest Borgnine

What a huge disappointment. Why am I being so generous to give this film a 3.0?  Only in deference to such greats as Morgan Freeman do I not dis this one to a 1.0 wonder.

“RED” which is a reference to the Willis character of Frank Moses as a “retired, extremely dangerous” ex CIA operative. I love that word “operative.” It works so well for government people we do not understand what they do. This movie might have been called “FED” for “Film, Extremely Dumb.” Only the little romance between Willis and Mary-Louise Parker is any fun at all.

Willis is retired CIA and needs to be knocked off.  (Lordy, how many times does this have to happen in movies these days?). He has a “phone relationship” with IRS worker Parker.  He grabs her to run away with him because the bad guys are now closing in and will surely kill her too because they have been tapping his phone. Parker haplessly tries to resist, but succumbs to Willis’ charm.  (TMG wonders what IRS agent gives in that easy?) Willis has to assemble his old CIA assassin squad to help. This sounds fine, but they need to draft someone like Aaron Sorkin for the screenplay and writing. If this was a comedy, they missed by a country mile.

From Freeman to Borgnine (he’s a handsome 93) to Mirren, most everyone in this film qualifies for Social Security and Medicare twice over. Aging CIA operatives (there I go again) sounded fun on a cocktail napkin, but Mirren rapid firing a “50 cal” in the parking lot just looked way too spoofy, not funny.

TMG is pretty much at a loss to explain the film or plot from here. I dozed off way too many times to remember. In between, I drafted my Form 941 Tax forms for next month. It seemed more fun in the dark with popcorn.

Was this supposed to be a comedy,  a thriller, a drama, a badly produced spoof, or just another of Joe Biden’s latest hair brained ideas to save the drain on Social Security? Problem is it just did not work. We admire and love the actors for who they really are in life, but not for their characters in this big  stinker for 2010. Darn. I really thought it was going to be good!  If you liked this film in anyway, I bet you liked Tropic Thunder (2008) Tell me I am wrong!

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