RED, how to do elderly people with guns correctly.

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What’s that?  Is that a box with Helen Mirren holding a gun I see on yonder shelf?  Hell yeah I’m so buying that!  Oh some other stars are on there too, that’s sorta cool.

Helen Mirren with a large boom stick

It would appear there’s a bit of a trend going on with action films, get a bunch of older actors, add guns & stick it in a blender.  The results are usually less than well received, The Expendables makes a good example.  So what’s different about this one?  It’s an “action-comedy” so that’s got to be a good thing right?

It’s got quite the cast, Bruce Willis playing the lead with Morgan Freeman, John Malkovich & of course Helen Mirren…  With a gun.  Seriously I can’t get over that, it’s something I’m just not used to seeing.  Is that Karl Urban playing a bad guy?  Oh joy!  He seems to be doing a lot of that lately, and in my opinion he’s quite good at it.

The basic plot being Willis is ex black-ops (not the terrible game), shit happens, the afore mentioned actors get together to provide the action & comedy.  I should probably mention that RED stands for “Retired, Extremely Dangerous”, though the film does explain that.

So the film, I hope you don’t like lengthy exposition at the start of your movies because you get less than 10 minutes of that before the bullets start flying, but what about the comedy?  That’s also there in full force, and thankfully it works.  Well that’s good, we’ve got the things it promises on the box.  Time to get into the film itself.

First off I need to point out how good the CGI work is on this, there’s some places where it’s incredibly obvious it was used but it’s not garish; so in a few years you’ll be able to look back at this one & not think “why did I think this looked good?”  I’m tempted to describe it as subtle, but in the context of the scenes it’s hardly the correct term.

Willis, as usual cast as the heroic man of action.  Freeman is introduced while he eyes up a young lady’s ass.  Malkovich is basically being what you’d expect – overly paranoid & a tad unhinged.  Mirren as always brings class…  Except with guns.

I honestly enjoyed this throughout, everything is made into a joke at every opportunity; especially the action.  You haven’t lived until you’ve seen someone return a grenade baseball style scoring a direct hit.  That may initially sound annoying, but it really does work.

The question is:  Why hadn’t I seen or heard of this film before?  No trailers, no advertising, nothing.  It literally appeared from no where & dived straight into UK bargain bins.  Totally worth picking up, especially with how cheap it is.