October 15th, 2010
06:21 PM ET
That’s more or less the premise behind “Red,” an action comedy starring Bruce Willis, John Malkovich, Morgan Freeman and Helen Mirren as retired CIA agents who get back in the game ("red" itself stands for "retired and extremely dangerous").
The reviews have averaged out to a solid “meh, not too bad," with critics finding it a passable film should you desire to see an action flick this weekend.
The Wall Street Journal’s Joe Morgenstern thought the plot device of bringing older agents out of retirement works “like a well-worn charm,” and found the plot to be “enjoyably silly.” The way the movie twists and turns may not be entirely logical, but that seems to be part of the fun. “[L]ogic doesn't apply to a single tumultuous moment of ‘Red,' which was directed with huge exuberance by Robert Schwentke, and freely and frivolously adapted by Jon Hoeber and Erich Hoeber from a superserious and ultraviolent graphic novel by Warren Ellis and Cully Hammer.”
Washington Post’s Ann Hornaday agrees that “Nothing is remotely credible or humanly possible in 'Red,'" but adds that the film “possesses the sleek confidence borne of experience and chops," and that “it gets the job done with competence, efficiency and points for smooth, goofy style.”
If you agree with the Boston Globe’s Ty Burr that this summer's “Expendables” was “good, dumb fun,” you may agree that “Red” is “more self-consciously wacky, more stridently in your face, and more disappointing.”
The problems lie in “ poor direction, sloppy pacing, and a story line that can’t decide whether it’s farce or a retread,” Burr writes. In the end, the critic says, “the conceptual hilarity of [‘Red’] only applies if you really can’t wrap your brain around someone of Mirren’s advanced age (65) or Willis’s (55!) playing action hero.”
CNN iReporter and film critic Brett Martin thinks that “Red” is a “comic action thriller with a sense of humor,” noting that yes, the plot is predictable if you’ve seen the trailer. “It’s not a great film, but it’s a pretty amusing film without insulting your intelligence for the better part of two hours," Martin says in his review.
So do you agree that “Red” isn’t so bad, or do you wish they would’ve let this plot retire for good? Sound off with an iReport movie review like Brett Martin, or simply send us your photo expressing what you think. See you at the movies!
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