2010 must be the year of the action-teams. So far we’ve been treated to The Expendables, The Losers and The A-Team and now it’s time for a group of ex-spies who have been retired but suddenly find themselves to be targets for assassination. Bruce Willis is the one to be the first on the list and functions as the geriatric team’s leader. Others are token black guy Morgan Freeman, nut-job John Malkovich and former girl now dame Helen Mirren. Everybody has their own cliche-role which doesn’t differ much from The A-Team, though Quintin “Rampage” Jackson is no match for Morgan Freeman in terms of acting of course.
Which brings us to the strongest part of the movie; casting. For a simple action movie RED stars multiple Academy Award winners and a couple of great actors in the supporting cast. Most notably a 93 year old Ernest Borgnine which most of us will remember as Dominic Santini in Airwolf. Borgnine might be 93 but looks like he’s in his 70s. Though the majority of the cast indeed has reached a retirement-age they run around like they’re still 25. Even Helen Mirren walks around waving guns weighing twice as much as she does.
Story-wise I expected more. Somehow I got the feeling I saw this before. The whole concept of elderly people kicking ass and taking names has been done before. This is one of those movies that has all the best parts in the trailer including the most impressive one in which Bruce Willis steps out of a rotating car and starts shooting. RED offers no other scenes that are this cool and so it doesn’t live up to the trailer. A trailer should function as an appetizer for the entire film, not a best-of compilation.
There is something of an identity conflict going on here. The set up is for a pure action comedy, but the movie is too low on action and comedy to justify that label. It is there all right, but not enough. If it wasn’t for the cast this would have been a direct to video flick.
But the movie is fairly entertaining despite it shortcomings. But I just think there could have been much more than what we got now. There are some genuine laughs here and there but there could have been so much more to it.