Tuesday, July 19, 2011

"Red" with Morgan Freeman, Bruce Willis, John Malkovich and Mary-Louise Parker

Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman, Helen Mirren and John Malkovich are all former CIA contract agents. They are retired. In the 1980's they were involved in some of the secret killings in Guatemala. Their commander at the time was the man who is now Vice President and running for the office of President. With so much of his past to hide, he orders the former agents to be killed. But he doesn't count on the friends that these men had made over the years.

Frank, played by Bruce Willis, is assaulted by a SWAT team in his own home. Only his former training allows him to escape. Now he has to find out why he is being targeted. To do that he must reassemble his old team. Quickly contacting his old friend Joe, played by Morgan Freeman, who is in a nursing home, the two begin the search to find out who is targeting them, and why.

Frank has fallen in love, over the phone, with a CIA operator, played perfectly by Mary-Louise Parker, who works out of the Kansas City office of the company. They plan to retire somewhere together. But, when all the mayhem begins, she is not so sure she wants to pursue the relationship. So, Frank does the only thing he can do, he duct tapes her and loads her into his car while trying to explain the circumstances in which he has found himself trapped. She is, to say the least, skeptical. But, still, she does admit that it's a pretty exciting first date.

Frank takes her out to the desert where another old comrade lives in seclusion. Marvin, played by John Malkovich, lives underground, literally. He is paranoid from years of CIA experiments with LSD, but is still as sharp as they come. The trio then hook up with Helen Mirren, who plays a former assassin, and her Soviet lover, whom she was once forced to kill in order to prove her loyalty to the "company." She shot him 3 times in the chest and left him for dead. When he recovers, he realizes that she truly loves him, or else she would have shot him in the head, just to be sure.

Just how this group takes down the Vice President and all of his security forces cannot be adequately described her without doing an injustice to this witty and fast paced script. Although this type of film is not my usual fare, it kept me entertained from the opening scene until the last.

This is a serious spoof of both the espionage that we, as nations, actually engage in, as well as a satire of the action movies that come of these real life exploits. With an action packed and witty script, this movie delivers. Add in some fantastic cameos by Ernest Borgnine and Richard Dreyfuss and you have a very entertaining film.

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