Wednesday, January 5, 2011

RED (2010)

So apparently there are only three types of action movies these days:
- sequels
- Michael Bay movies
- nostalgia movies/ vehicles for aging actors eager to revive careers

I am looking forward to the MI sequel as much as the next person, but what happened to the trail-blazing, balls out flicks that blew your mind? Action movies just seem so self-conscious these days, like suddenly they're embarrassed about being all brawn. Man up, Hollywood. Everybody can see that you suddenly realized that if you made fun of the way you regularly take the whole suspension of disbelief thing and shoot it in the head repeatedly, nobody else can laugh at the absurd logic employed in your movies. Ha ha, yes let's have over-the-top explosions and fight scenes worthy of Rajnikanth so everybody knows that we're in the joke too.


Did John McClane feel silly when he blew up a plane? Did John Rambo blush his way through a game of buzkashi? Did Arnold say "Get to the choppa" with even the slightest hint of irony? HELL NO!

So, Red, as you may have guessed, wanted to be badass but was scared that people may laugh so they threw in a bunch of absurd scenes and over-the-top-obviously-satirical explosions to convince us all that they were in on the joke too. Bruce Willis is an ex-Black Ops agent living his life quietly in a suburb, phone-flirting with a call centre employee when the CIA, led by young gun Karl Urban decides to eliminate him because he was a yada-yada in some Operation Blah-didn't-pay-attention-blah. He joins forces with the old brigade: Morgan Freeman, John Malkovich, Brian Cox and Helen Mirren to show the CIA how they roll. Because McClan.. sorry, Bruce Willis can still bring it, and how.

While there are plenty of cheesy, cringeworthy scenes (which the producers will tell you was TOTALLY INTENDED GUYS), I thoroughly enjoyed the movie. What fun it was to watch Morgan Freeman take Bruce Willis to school! And Helen Mirren has never looked classier than behind a sniper rifle. And the whole "We may be geriatric, but we still got it, sonny jim" plot line? Never grows old.

Yes, the plot was thoroughly irrelevant and incomprehensible but you know what, sometimes you need to have a plot just to throw it away with reckless abandon. Yes, this was a vehicle for aging actors to revive their action star careers, and yes, they do play up the nostalgia stuff, but it turns out us audience absolutely love it. Sufficiently badass enough to catch it on HBO whenever it plays.


  1. ah it was an absolute blast. thought it was one of the most effortlessly entertaining movies of the year, and i love me some Mary Louise-Parker. Have you seen her in Angels of America ?

  2. I love her for her adorable nose.