An experienced, veteran cast saves Robert Schwentke's Red (yet another rogue spy-ops action comedy) from its lesser ambitions and doughy underbelly. The result is an agreeable, perfectly enjoyable product seemingly stuck in neutral in which the action doesn't quite thrill and the punch-lines don't quite snap.
It's more of a shuffling, laid-back and under control kind of film, much less endowed to its comic-book origins than Sylvian White's The Losers and far less exertive than Joe Carnahan's The A-Team.
Of course, fundamentally, the films are the same - a tactical group of ex-spies are back in action against their former employers, dead set on revenge or immunity and perfectly willing to doll out the brutality in the most excessively wildish ways - usually in a shipping yard.
Red operates on this same plane, but it's approach is much more patient and laissez-faire and very infrequently does it devolve into inordinate bouts of cartoonish gunplay and loopy theatrics. (Although don't misunderstand me, that stuff is there, just not in any egregious quantities.)
No, it's more of an amusing, chuckle here-and-there action movie log-ride, which turns out to be an endearing quality with the talent in front of the camera, including terrific turns by Bruce Willis, Karl Urban and specifically, Mary Louise-Parker.
I'm not sure I cared one bit about the team's outlandish plot to kidnap the Vice President, but at times, I'm not sure I was even aware of the plan's implementation. If nothing else, Red proves that sometimes starpower, charisma and a few guns can go a long way, or rather, a long-enough way. [B-]
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
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