Who's seeing 'Red' this weekend?
October 15th, 2010
06:21 PM ET

Who's seeing 'Red' this weekend?

As is the case with “The Incredible Hulk” and “Top Gun,” just because something was hot way back when doesn’t mean that it can’t experience a resurrection and hopefully once again kick some ass.

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!

Filed under: movies

soundoff (13 Responses)
  1. Viper1j

    All righty then.

    First off, this is a popcorn movie telling tales. "Sometimes, the best place to hide something, is in plain sight." – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

    And there's some stuff hidden in plain sight here. But if I told you what it was, I'd have to kill you. 😉

    I doubt that even a block of cement could make a bad movie with this cast, although I'll always see Mirren as Baryshnikov's oh so hot girlfriend from White Nights. This is clearly Urban's best stuff since Ghost Ship, although I think the cast caused him to really put his game face on.

    The story is not as funny, as it would be, if you have ever served, but it still manages to hand up a pretty good helping of suspension of disbelief.. All in all, I liked it. It was a great way to spend a couple of hours.

    But people should remember, there's a difference between getting older, and getting old.

    October 18, 2010 at 12:48 pm | Report abuse |
  2. movieC

    I thought that the movie was just great. I agree with one of the earlier comments that John Malkovich stole the show but all of the actors were phenomenal. Definitely worth going to the movies to watch and also buying the DVD when it comes out. I thoroughly enjoyed. It was very well done–funny, sleek, action-moves, sassy– Everyone in the audience were just smiling saying 'wow, great movie'!!

    October 18, 2010 at 10:56 am | Report abuse |
  3. Frank

    I'll wait for the DVD and check it out from the library. Not too many reasons to go to the theater these days. At least with the library, you know you won't waste money!

    October 17, 2010 at 6:03 pm | Report abuse |
  4. peanutman

    I thought the movie was great, John Malkovich stole the show, he should get an oscar for his performance.

    October 17, 2010 at 5:21 pm | Report abuse |
  5. vicki

    It was fun and everyone was laughing – we were entertained. Lots of bullets! Mirrent, Malkovich and automatic weapons: a real treat!

    October 17, 2010 at 1:10 pm | Report abuse |
  6. teamster-24[39]

    dropped the popcorn at a theater around boston watching the social network. lots of tissues buddy

    October 16, 2010 at 3:36 pm | Report abuse |
  7. moviegoer

    Took the pre teen grandsons with me to the first 10:30 am showing. The theater was packed and laughs were audible and on cue. Found the movie to be totally enjoyable. The grandsons chattered but upon leaving shared that they loved the film and thought it was one of the best they had seen. Each character starting with Bruce is played well, with tongue in cheek and with style.

    October 16, 2010 at 11:22 am | Report abuse |
  8. oldsparky

    Saw this last night with the wife and two teenage sons. Everyone in the theater was laughing, everyone walked out smiling. There are some great one liners, that people will be looking at each other and quoting. Just maybe the critics should critique themselves! Most people go to movies to relax and have a good time, not break a film down frame by frame, and complain when the film doesn't "speak to the underlying social issues"!

    October 16, 2010 at 10:42 am | Report abuse |
  9. khocolatemoose

    This film looks fantastic! If the cast didn't think the film was worth making, they wouldn't have done so; it's not like they need the work. I know that I'm excited about this film and plan to see it this weekend. You should too; it looks too good to ignore.

    Feel free to join the conversation about action films at http://khocolatemoose.wordpress.com/

    We'd love to hear what you have to say, and often.


    October 16, 2010 at 9:55 am | Report abuse |
  10. teamster-24[39]

    it's just beamers vs. super beamers now... http://beamsterrunscivic.blogspot.com ... check it out ya'll ... go Jets!

    October 16, 2010 at 8:59 am | Report abuse |
  11. TomCat


    October 16, 2010 at 5:42 am | Report abuse |
  12. chris

    I will definitely see it this weekend, a lot of great actors involved and the trailers are convincing it will be a great flick.

    October 15, 2010 at 10:21 pm | Report abuse |
  13. mejazzbo

    Saw a matinee today. The theater was packed with geezers. GRAY POWER !!!!

    October 15, 2010 at 9:32 pm | Report abuse |

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