2010 Running time: 111 Certificate: 12 Rating: 3

Synopsis

When his idyllic life is threatened by a high-tech assassin, former black-ops agent Frank Moses (Bruce Willis) reassembles his old RED team (retired but extremely dangerous), including Helen Mirren, Morgan Freeman and John Malkovich, in a last ditch effort to survive. German director Robert Schwentke assembles an impressive cast - which also includes cameos from Richard Dreyfuss and Ernest Borgnine - for a rollicking action romp that never takes it self too seriously.

Director

  • Robert Schwentke

Cast

  • Bruce Willis

  • Helen Mirren

  • John Malkovich

  • Morgan Freeman

  • Karl Urban

  • Brian Cox

Review

Ex-special ops supremo Frank (Willis) is enjoying a quiet life in an Ohio suburb. Former CIA man Joe (Freeman) is dying of liver cancer in a New Orleans rest home.

Unhinged one-time agent Marvin (Malkovich) is holed up in the Florida Everglades convinced he's being watched. Former ice cool assassin Victoria (Mirren) is now running a B&B.

They're all RED - retired, extremely dangerous. Yet age shall not wither them.

When a small army of tooled-up assassins waste Frank's house his old skills ensure he survives...and he embarks on a whistle-stop tour of the USA rustling up the support of his old buddies.

Along for the ride is Kansas call centre drone Sarah (Parker), a feisty singleton he's struck up a rapport with while discussing his pensions cheques over the phone. He can't leave her because the goons on his tail know he's been flirting with her.

As Frank, Marvin and Sarah career across the country, it's becoming apparent (ie people keep trying to kill them) that they're public enemy number one...but they don't know why.

Director Robert Schwentke adapts Warren Ellis and Cully Hamner's darker graphic novel and colourfully retools it as a sort of thinking man's Expendables.

Willis - essentially a twilight years John McClane - plays his ageing action man role with just the right degree of knowingness while the rest of the team - including Brian Cox's Russian agent ("I have not keeled anyone for years...") - just seem to have a good time.

It's at its most enjoyable when not to toppling over into cartoon territory and in Mary-Louise Parker there is a comedy actress whose reaction shots are a match for anything veterans like Cox and Malkovich can throw at her.

A literal blast.

Tim Evans

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