Director: Robert Schwentke, Summit Entertainment, Rated M, 111 mins
Bruce Willis’ latest screen caper is a highly entertaining action comedy involving retired CIA agents.
Directed by Robert Schwentke (The Time Traveler’s Wife), the movie reprises Willis’ role as an ‘indestructible’ good guy in the Die Hard movies.
Willis plays former CIA agent Frank Moses, whose code name is now RED: Retired Extremely Dangerous.
Frank’s mundane existence is interrupted by his phone flirtations with Sarah (Mary-Louise Parker from The Spiderwick Chronicles), a customer services officer in the pension department.
No sooner does Frank meet up with Sarah than he discovers that someone is trying to kill him, forcing both to go on the run.
Sensing that the sudden appearance of a Government hit squad is connected to some past operation, Frank recruits his former mission mates who are also retired, including Joe Matheson (Morgan Freeman from Invictus), Marvin Boggs (John Malkovich from The Changeling) and Victoria (Helen Mirren from State of Play).
The retirees are assisted by their former Cold War enemy, Ivan Simanov (Brian Cox).
Together, they go after their former employer, headed by CIA boss Cynthia Wilkes (Rebecca Pidgeon).
Wilkes orders her best man, William Cooper (NZ actor Karl Urban from Star Trek) to find the old timers and retire them permanently.
Schwentke’s amusingly executed adaptation of Warren Ellis and Cully Hamner’s graphic novel cleverly combines action with humour.
The film also managed to assemble a great cast of ‘older’ but acknowledged stars (Willis, Freeman, Malkovich and Mirren) who fulfil their particular roles perfectly, much to the chagrin of their younger opponents.
Besides the hilarious antics of conspiracy theorist Malkovich and the gun-toting Mirren, there is also a brief appearance by Richard Dreyfuss (Jaws) - with the special highlight being the cameo performance of 93 year old screen legend Ernest Borgnine as a CIA records keeper.
Despite some skeptical scenes, Schwentke’s movie is a fast paced roller coaster ride that is thoroughly enjoyable and lots of fun to watch.
VIC'S VERDICT: 4 Rubber Stamps
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