Star cast: Bruce Willis, Mary-Louise Parker, Morgan Freeman, John Malkovich, Helen Mirren, Brian Cox, Karl Urban
Director: Robert Schwentke
Plot: Retired super-spy Bruce Willis is regrouping his former colleagues in his fight against his former employer, the CIA, which is attacking him for some reason. Mary-Louise Parker, his love interest, tags along in a cross-country tour that finally ends at the CIA headquarters.
What’s Good: The eccentric yet enjoyable characterisations; the peppy dialogues; and the abundant action.
What’s Bad: An average script.
Verdict: Red is a fun watch. It loses out on the chance to be a cult, like the comic book it is based on.
Loo Break: None.
Summit Entertainment’s Red is an action-comedy about a super spy, Frank Moses (Bruce Willis), and his colleagues, who are forced to spring back into action because they are being targeted by their former employer, the CIA.
Frank Moses, the deadliest of spies and a retired CIA Special Operations Division officer, is living a life of anonymity in a small house in Cleveland. He spends most of his time talking to a Pension Services employee, Sarah Ross (Mary-Louise Parker), over the phone or reading romantic novels suggested by her. When he realises that Sarah is single and lives alone, he decides to go see her at her home in Kansas City. But before he can do that, a deadly squad of assassins raids his house at midnight. Frank easily foils the surprise attack, but realises that his phone calls were being tapped. Immediately, he leaves for Kansas to pick up Sarah. Frank’s enemies follow him. With no other real choice left, Sarah becomes Frank’s partner – first unwillingly and then willingly – in his cross-country tour to regroup with his former colleagues. They are Joe Matheson (Morgan Freeman), a wise man who is living in the Green Springs Retirement Community; Marvin Boggs (John Malkovich), a wacko ex-spy who was subjected to psychoactive substances while serving the CIA and who has since become paranoid; Victoria Winslow (Helen Mirren), the trigger-happy former MI6 agent; and Ivan Simanov (Brian Cox), Frank’s former enemy and a Russian agent.
Meanwhile, at the CIA headquarters, a high-profile special operative, William Cooper (Karl Urban), is given the job of eliminating Frank, who, according to secret files, is a RED (Retired Extremely Dangerous) person. William traces Frank and attacks him with full force. However, Frank and his brigade, old as they might be, beat William every single time and even mount a successful guerilla attack on the CIA headquarters itself! The trail of evidence they gather from the CIA station leads them to Alexander Dunning (Richard Dreyfuss), a big defense contractor, who has been placed under the protection of the CIA at the behest of the US vice president. On interrogating Alexander, Bruce finds out that he is being targeted by the CIA because the vice president wants him eliminated as he (Bruce) was witness to a war-crime the VP had committed in Guatemala. Frank and his brigade have to die as the VP is running for the President’s post and wants a clean slate. But Frank won’t budge. Is he able to thwart the CIA’s sinister plans? Is he able to get back to his quiet life of seclusion, with Sarah? The rest of the film answers these questions.