Retired Extremely Dangerous


15 October 2010| No Comments on Red     by Sean Chavel


Self-aware action cheesiness with a cast of veterans. Red starts out like an aging Bruce Willis vehicle and then gradually draws out Morgan Freeman, John Malkovich and Helen Mirren. Willis is Frank Moses, a retired CIA operative, who is wanted dead by someone corrupt inside the agency. Mary Louise-Parker is the good sport love interest, a single thirtysomething working girl tired of answering phones and much happier, eh, getting shot at. Based on a graphic comic book novel, but unlike “Sin City” or “Watchmen,” it is blessed with a crotchety sense of humor.

Early on, Freeman is dying of liver cancer. This makes it easy to practically announce that he is expendable. Malkovich is a paranoid former CIA agent convinced everyone is trying to kill him. Willis, as the dome-shaped baldy, is not expendable because he has a pretty young thing to protect. Mirren’s entrance, as Victoria, is very dry – in her twilight years she has taken up gardening over killing, but still takes the occasional contract because “some parts of you never change.”

The story utilizes New Orleans, Kansas City and Washington D.C. among others, but the killer funny sequence is towards the end when Moses’ team sets up the most impossibly long-winded of traps to abduct the Vice President. And of course, what comic thriller would be complete without a showdown with Dick Cheney, only it’s not Cheney but Richard Dreyfuss. For most of the running time, Willis doesn’t even try to kiss the girl, for he’s too into his business.

110 Minutes. Rated PG-13.


Film Cousins: “The Matador” (2005); “Sin City” (2005); “Salt” (2010); “The Expendables” (2011).


Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Sean Chavel

About The Author / Sean Chavel

Sean Chavel is a Hollywood based author and movie reviewer. He is the Executive Director of, a new website that has adapted the movie review site genre by introducing moodbased and movie experience based reviews.


There are No Comments about this post

Add Yours!

You must be logged in to post a comment.