Still armed. Still dangerous. Still got it.

I'm not really into action movies. With the exception of a few very stellar movies, action movies tend to sacrifice character development and actual plot in favor of explosions, scantily clad women and... more explosions. What's worse, the action always seems to be unrealistic to the point of absurdity (see the Charlie's Angels movies). Until a little movie called Smokin' Aces came out, I was 100% against action movies. Since then, however, I've been more willing to give them a chance and I was actually excited to see the RED trailer.

I wasn't completely on board though... which is strange because I'd read most of the graphic novel and was absolutely in love with the idea, and the cast was fantastic (Helen Mirren and Morgan Freeman... need I say more?). I think I was still hurt over the train wreck that was Watchmen, and the fact that while it was great in graphic novel form, RED was still going to be a movie of the action genre. In the end, I went because I was suffering from Karl Urban withdrawals.


For a graphic novel adaptation, it was probably one of the best I've seen. Each actor really captured the character's attitude and made them all very likeable. Hellen Mirren's character is so delightfully nonchalant about the fact that she was once a hired assassin, Bruce Willis is so absolutely pathetic that you can't help but root for him the entire time. Karl Urban's antagonist is also done in such a way that you can't completely hate him... or even at all, and half way through the movie you're not entirely sure who you want to come out on top. By far the best performance of the movie was John Malkovich as Marvin Boggs, a retired CIA agent that was given daily doses of LSD for 11 years. Boggs is like a dog that's been stung on the nose one too many times, and everyone thinks he's lost his nose when in reality, he just points at things with his tail. When you meet him, your first impression is that he's senile and paranoid... but you quickly learn that he's probably the best agent out of all of them.

As far as the plot goes, I liked it. They don't mention it too much, which is fine because the story is driven more by the characters, but it's actually a nice little conspiracy theory movie. And I'm not sure if it was just because I was too distracted by Karl Urban and his cute hair, but I didn't realize who the main antagonist was until right before he was revealed.


I'm willing to forgive them this transgression seeing as it was a GN adapted to a movie, but there were some action sequences that were less than believable, namely the one from the trailer when Bruce Willis steps out of the spinning cop car. However, his actions in the entire sequence are so BA, it's easy to overlook the "yeah like that abides by the laws of physics" mishaps.

The following "gripe" will be whited out because it contains spoilers. If you have seen the movie or don't mind having something (rather large IMO) spoiled, simply highlight the following portion to read the text.

It was really upsetting to have Joe die. I thought he was dead the first time, and then he came back and I was so happy... so to have him get shot and actually die was just... heart wrenching. I really liked his character and I really wanted him to come back once more.


Ignoring the small gripes I had with the movie, it was a fairly well rounded film. It was great fun, and honestly it's probably one of my absolute favorite GN to movie adaptations. If you like great acting, conspiracy theories, BA characters and some pretty fast paced action, then I recommend RED.

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