Frank Moses (Bruce Willis) is your average, run-of-the-mill retiree. With the exception that Moses is a former CIA agent that toppled governments and facilitated hundreds of assassinations. Otherwise, he is perfectly ordinary. Unfortunately for Frank, he has blown his cover by contacting Sarah Ross (Marie-Louise Parker) at the government check office 12 or 13 times too many. Caught by the NSA, flirting on tape, Frank’s hidden enemies are alerted to his presence on the grid, however casual and limited. Without warning, Frank’s beautiful house is surrounded by a squadron of agents looking to take him down. Just when we think Frank is done for, in miraculous fashion, he brings down an entire team of trained assassins. As we will later hear Frank Quip, “Tedeski trained you right? I trained Tedeski!” Right away we learn that the old timers not only do it right, they do it best!
Once exposed, Frank has no choice but to find Sarah and protect her at all cost. She has become expendable. Upon locating her, their first date is anything but normal. She is mostly sedated, has duct tape covering her mouth, and is held hostage for all intents and purposes. The silver lining is that she finds Frank exciting even though he is bald. After assessing the intent of the attackers and discovering the source of the operation is the CIA, Frank decides to bring the band back together! Frank and Sarah’s first stop is to Marvin Boggs’ (Malkovich) bayou frontier. Marvin is older, and crazier than ever. His large home on the water is apparently a decoy for would-be attackers. His real casa is a fortified 2 bedroom beauty underground.
Frank’s primary rival at the CIA is the up and coming William Cooper (Karl Urban). Cooper is young, ambitious, and largely unaware of the insidious machinations going on behind the scenes. He is unrelenting in his pursuit of Frank and his black-ops players. Let’s introduce the other team members shall we? When viewers find Joe Matheson (Morgan Freeman) he is living in a nursing home and has been long since forgotten. That is, until an assassin approaches him and is swiftly handled. Joe is heartwarming and deadly, a divine combination to be sure. The lovely Victoria (Helen Mirren) is not at all what she seems. Apparently, her good housekeeping routine is a cover for her murderous death spree as an assassin for hire. Who knew? Finally, who could forget the local, loveable little fuzz ball, Ivan Simanov (Brian Cox). Ivan is a notorious KGB agent suffering from a broken heart, well, almost.
While Frank is busy impressing Sarah by taking her on the adventure of a lifetime, Cooper is targeting the entire black-ops team that participated in the Nicaraguan episode. Frank, Marvin, Joe, Victoria and Simanov are the lucky ones that survive. Gabriel Singer (Remar) is not quite so fortunate. As the mystery unfolds, Frank and the team learn the order to exterminate anyone connected with Nicaragua has come from the Vice President himself. The V.P.is interested in running for the Presidency and cannot afford scandalous information to come to light.
The cast of characters speaks for itself. The last time this much talent was assembled in the same room, Celebrity Rehab spiked in the ratings! I threw in a Ricky Gervais tribute joke so sue me! Red to me is a charming film because of the acting and the all-will-be-well script. However, it is supreme because of the special effects. Every explosion seems perfectly orchestrated. When some of the assassins are smashed into pieces it is hilarious. Every kill from the team runs so smoothly and their maneuvers are flawlessly executed, pun intended. Red is a feel good thriller with a touch of comedy, a hint of romance, and a great deal of killing. What more can a moviegoer ask for?
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