Thursday, April 11, 2013

"Red" (2010) -- Initial Thoughts

My dear friend DKoren has been bugging me to see this for ages now, and so she and I watched it together over a couple nights this week.  Oh my goodness!  I wish she had bugged me more!  This is one wild, crazy, wacky water slide of a movie.  I cannot wait to see it again, because it is pure fun.  And because I laughed so hard at times that I not only missed dialog, but I'm kind of hazy on some plot points.  But when we watch movies together, we're on opposite ends of the continent, and I can't just rewind and watch what I missed or we'll get unsynced.  So... I will be forced to watch it again.  Oh, the agony!

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.

Next come the bananas, which definitely represent Marvin (John Malkovich).  The dude is completely loony, but in the most hilarious way possible.  He's twitchy, he's paranoid, he's unpredictable -- he truly is bananas!

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.

Frank (Bruce Willis) is the hot fudge, and I do mean hot.  He's one of the few white guys who actually looks better bald than with hair -- very few, since, as someone once said (was it Dave Barry?), most bald white guys look like giant thumbs.  But wow, he is smooth and yummy in this.

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 :-)


  1. Haha, really good and accurate analogy with the hot fudge sundae... and watching the movie is like eating it! I love this movie. :)

    1. Isn't it fabulous? I had no idea it would be the way it is. Definitely not what I was expecting.

  2. Great analogy review, Rachel! Very tastily done!

  3. Oh my goodness, I love this review! Fabulous analogy. :D

    I haven't seen the movie and now I'm wondering why on earth not?! Previews I've seen for it made it seem pretty fun, but for some reason I have never gotten around to watching it. I gotta do something about that. Thanks for the laugh, Hamlette!

    1. Yes, you need to see it. And eat a banana split while you watch it :-9

  4. I love the hot fudge Sundae analogy. I will put this on my list of movies to see.

    Thank you for the great review!

    1. I hope you have as much fun watching it as I did :-D

  5. Oh. My. Goodness. Your analogy is quite awesome... And that comment about white bald men looking like giant thumbs...! :D You are hilarious!!! And a "lethal Martha Stewart"!?!? This movie sounds spectacular (minus the language, of course)... :D



    1. This movie is spectacular, minus the language -- I can't remember the last time I laughed so hard and so much during an action movie!


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