Veterans vexed with a vendetta! Well…not entirely, there’s a hint of young blood along the way (spilled that is!)
Summit Entertainment in association with Di Bonaventura Pictures, Homage Entertainment and DC Entertainment present…
RED was a three part mini-series graphic novel published on September 2003 to February 2004 from renowned Writer Warren Ellis (Hellblazer) and Illustrator Cully Hamner! Originally from Wildstorm Productions, the company merged and was later brought into DC comics to continue the life of Paul Moses a Retired and Extremely Dangerous CIA agent that needs to expand and make the story more elaborate for readers and fans alike!
Since Director Robert Schwentke (The Time Traveller’s Wife) is taking the helm, the on-set of the script being put into play was lacking, monotonous and one dimensional to be just an action genre filled with violence and vendetta for the aforementioned protagonist. So they put characters in with different perspectives but with the same agenda as Moses and instill, provide comedy to fill in the gaps.
Robert did bring together a wonderful and powerful cast, definitely the best in the business! Its action oriented not much bravado was needed since all are screen icons. Screenplay was done by Jon and Erich Hoeber (Whiteout) apparently, they still have more projects to delve into and experience to elaborate their stories and execute the intended premise. At least there were no problems I believe from the Producing end of the film since Lorenzo di Bonaventura of the Transformer’s fame (cough!) was the one providing the needed assets to keep the films rolling!
Though, there were some hindrances with Warner Bros. not considering doing the film, the Director opted for another studio to bring the project to the big screen. With DC and the mother company’s blessing, Summit Entertainment obliged with the help of Dark Castle Entertainment from Joel Silver and company.
The story was now based on Frank Moses (tweaked named) a lonely, bored ex-CIA agent who just wakes up for his meal, errands to do and just waiting for his pension checks from a secret admirer! What can you say; this is Bruce “Die Hard” Willis an action legend in his own right of course with some humor to boot…
After a failed hit from hired assassins and on the run, he re-assembles his former team to take down their aggressors. His mentor, smooth talker Joe Matheson (Morgan Freeman), delusional, paranoid explosives expert Marvin Boggs (John Malkovich), restless, still on contracts Victoria (Helen Mirren) and the love of her life former adversary, logistics and Intel man Ivan Simanov (Brian Cox). Awesome ensemble indeed!
The veterans are remarkably casted and have proven blockbusters in their own respective fields. Bruce has some hits and misses (Surrogates) but there’s no stopping this yippie ki yay stand out. Now, with the ex- black ops team on his side…you can go back and do a few more rounds in CIA training 101!
Always a fan for these guys, Morgan always plays the smart ones, John is fun to watch; he makes things complicated but pulls off the mission given either with a smile or a smirk on his face! While Helen gives a pun now and then and being the only female agent, she’s actually the one shooting the heavy artillery with a very cold demeanor! I was even optimistic enough with Brian in the film since he is one of my preferred actors at least here he is not one of the bad guys (does he need to? it can even things out a bit) not crazy about his Russian accent though! I don’t mind, he is indeed one of the greats! They all are!
Mary Louise Parker (Weeds) plays Sarah Ross who profusely flirts while at work, her quirkiness and wide eyed one liner expressions and banters with the team gives life to the CSR who longs for an adventure…and she indeed found hers! She is the one two punch here for the younger cast who delivers very solid performances and steals the show, the other is Karl Urban (Dredd) plays CIA Agent William Cooper, this guy I believe will go the distance and will definitely have more projects under his name, his directive has been planned out only to find a hidden agenda against REDs that made him soon realize to choose the other side of the fence. Already have a very commendable resume, he is currently doing Judge Dredd and will come back to reprise his role in a Star Trek sequel as well.
Julian McMahon as VP Robert Stanton, not a “despot ruler” of a country but certainly belongs to a low self-esteemed mediocre set of villains against a super squad of stars, Rebecca Pidgeon (Redbelt) as Cynthia Wilkes, a pencil pushing CIA upper echelon and Richard Dreyfuss (Mr. Holland’s Opus) as Alexander Dunning who had a long time coming to be back in films, plays an extractor from a previous mission gone wrong. They were incessantly lack lustred and without and foothold on their respective roles just ordinary bad guys just waiting to be taken out by a bullet or two. Typical…
What goes around comes around and you will always get more leverage to what projects you choose and at the same time the perfect timing that comes with it. Almost everyone is jumping the CBMs (Comic Book Movies) band wagon. For this genre, it will linger for a few more years as long as the material is made true to the source, everything will fall into place.
Overall, I enjoyed the screen dynamic of the team, combining the two elements of action and comedy was definitely a way to entice the mood of the film’s premise, despite changes from the comic books which was not enough to provide range and plot, it was entertaining and witty considering the well acted characters. The story and its screenplay was given more meaning even Airwolf TV series star Ernest Borgnine (The Dirty Dozen) the Records Keeper Henry had his moments. The film does not need special effects nor enormous CGI to make it a crowd pleaser; it holds on its own with great talent and delivery. Adrenaline sequences with charisma and bullet ridden bodies, all in a day’s work!
Like they say…you can’t keep a good man down, especially with this guy who is expected to be the last man standing!