The basic plot is that Frank Moses (Bruce Willis) is a retired CIA agent trying to live a normal life, but after he's almost assassinated by unknown assailants, he gets back in the game and drags a bunch of his fellow retirees (and his almost-girlfriend) with him. Those fellow retirees include Joe (Morgan Freeman), Marvin (John Malkovich), Victoria (Helen Mirren), and Ivan (Brian Cox). And don't forget the CIA hitman who's now been tasked with taking Frank down -- that would be William Cooper (Karl Urban). And then there's the almost-girlfriend, Sarah (Mary-Louise Parker), who adds smile-inducing quirk to her every scene.
While I was watching this, I started comparing the cast to a hot fudge sundae, and the analogy worked so well, I'm going to up the dessert to a banana split and include all the main players. Because I can. And because this is that kind of movie.
We'll start with the ice cream, since that's what gets put in first. Cooper (Karl Urban) is all three flavors: vanilla, strawberry, and chocolate. For the first 2/3 or so of the movie, he's too flavorless, all clean-shaven and being the good soldier who never questions orders. But then he gets in over his head, he gets scruffy, and he starts getting a sweet-yet-tart thing going on. And by the end, oh, he is rich, creamy, chocolatey goodness.
Okay, that's the base ingredients, so now on to the really good stuff. Victoria (Helen Mirren) is the crushed pineapple -- tangy and sassy, demanding all your attention whenever she's around. She's like a lethal Martha Stewart, if you can imagine that.
Sarah (Mary-Louise Parker) would be the whipped cream. At first you think she's just tossed into the mix to add some sex appeal, to make us laugh, to make Frank seem more interesting, or because there weren't enough female characters. But like whipped cream, you eventually realize that without her, the whole thing would be kinda blah.
Joe (Morgan Freeman) is the butterscotch sauce. He's both sweet and salty, loveable and deadly. I wish he'd had more screen time, just like I always wish my banana splits had more butterscotch sauce.
|He held me at gunpoint until I agreed to post 3 pics of him instead of 1.|
And finally, Ivan (Brian Cox) is the cherry on top. He completely steals every scene he's in, he's scrumptious and wonderful, but he only has a tiny role and leaves me wanting a lot more. Like those maraschino cherries, I can't get enough!
Is this a family-friendly movie? It's got a good bit of violence, though none of it is gory -- it's kind of old-school movie violence, with little blood shown, and a lot of deaths implied or off-camera. There's some bad language, including the dreaded f-bomb, but I see Clearplay has a filter for this movie, so if you're into Clearplay, it could easily become very watchable. No sex, no nudity, just a few kisses and one or two lower-cut blouses.
Oh, and if you're wondering about the title, R.E.D. stands for "Retired -- Extremely Dangerous." They definitely are all of that!
Finally, this is one of Ernest Borgnine's last movies, and he's adorable in it. So I'll end with a shot of him :-)