RED (Retired: Extremely Dangerous)
starring Bruce Willis, Mary-Louise Parker, John Malkovich, Helen Mirren, Karl Urban, Morgan Freeman, Brian Cox, Ernest Borgnine and Richard Dreyfuss
screenplay by Jon Hoeber and Erich Hoeber
directed by Robert Schwentke
This is a silly movie and it did not get good reviews, but I liked it a lot because it was funny. It’s good if you have nothing else to do on an afternoon. A group of retired CIA field agents, called “REDs” at CIA’s Langely headquarters because, although retired, they remain “extremely dangerous,” band together one more time to find out why their names are on a hit list and who is out to kill them. Retired tough guys making fun of their age like the old astronauts in Space Cowboys (2000, directed by Clint Eastwood and starring himself with James Garner, Tommy Lee Jones and Donald Sutherland) makes for funny cinema. Although they are all retired, everyone has a storage shed full of weapons. It’s America, after all. Doesn’t everyone have a wall of automatic weapons in their basement or garage and a barrel full of ammo? And, like so many action movies there is gunfire galore but no one gets killed. It’s exciting, though.
RED is based on the graphic novel (comic book) by Warren Ellis and Cully Hamner. Normally I despise films made form comic books. I enjoyed seeing Ernest Borgnine. I thought he was a better actor here than in anything else I ever saw him in - which is primarily From Here to Eternity (1953, directed by Fred Zinnemann), and McHale’s Navy (1962-66, co-starring Tim Conway).
This is yet another American film shot partly in Toronto, Canada. I know because I spotted the Toronto City Hall (designed by Finnish architect Viljo Revell and opened in 1965), loved by so many movie directors because of its distinctive and immediately recognizable shape.