In the past six months, we’ve seen several films attempt to successfully execute the person-falls-in-love-with-someone-who-turns-out-to-be-a-spy formula, with mixed results. Robert Schwentke’s Red (based on the Warren Ellis graphic novel of the same name) is the latest entry, boasting an all-star cast headed by Bruce Willis.
So does Red have anything new to add? Hit the jump for a few of my thoughts and leave your own in the comments below. As usual, spoilers follow after the break.
There’s a lot to like about Red. The action scenes are competent and adequately inventive, but the pedigreed cast is unquestionably the film’s most enjoyable element. It’s an unbridled pleasure to see these respectable actors hamming it up and cavorting around with enough artillery to declare war on a small nation-state. If all this film gives us is the sight of Helen Mirren expertly operating a sub-machine gun, it will have made a substantial contribution to cinema.
Ultimately, Red doesn’t delve deep enough into any of its characters to make itself anything more than a passing flight of fancy. Its love story (or should I say “stories”?) is shallow, its plot and ending preposterous. However, if all you’re looking for is a half-decent date movie/action film, there’s enough within Red to please both sexes. Perhaps this weekend, that will be more than enough.
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