{2jtab: Movie Review}

Red Movie Review


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4 stars

The spy genre has been around in force since the 60s, so its popularity has never been drawn into question. What has been, especially in recent times, is what more can be said about that particular topic. They through Angelina Jolie into a spy film to freshen things up, and have turned Bond into a relevant character again after falling into almost parody at the turn of last century. But with Bourne, Bond, Mission: Impossible, Wanted, Spy Kids, and god knows what else out there in their unrelenting instalments, where else could the spy genre go?

Luckily, someone knew: old people!

Based on DC Comics written by Warren Ellis and Cully Hamner, RED—which stands for retired, extremely dangerous—tells the story of Frank Moses and his ‘buddies’, all former spies, trying to live their twilight years in the mundane everyday existence of retirees. When hits are put out of all of them, they reunite to discover why they are being targeted, and teach their younger opponents and themselves that old dogs can learn new tricks... and kick arse with the best of them.

This is a cracking good yarn, as witty as it is complex. The jokes come thick and fast, as does the action. The characters are all well conceived and impeccably performed by some of the greatest ‘senior’ actors in the biz. To see Helen Mirren go ape-shit with an Uzi is worth the price of the Blu Ray alone, but Bruce Willis hits one out of the park in this one and is an absolute joy to follow. Morgan Freeman, Brian Cox, and the always dependable John Malkovich chew up the scenery and even Karl Urban, who, talented as he is, has not been given much of an opportunity to do anything other than scowl, shows a flair for combining machismo and self deprecation into a fun package.

Robert Schwentke is proving himself to be a versatile director (with two of his last ‘The Time Traveler’s Wife’ and ‘Flightplan’). The German director has a knack for milking the comedy of this film visually, and manages to let a large ensemble of high profile actors all have their moments to shine.

With every second movie these days starring a teenager or twenty something it’s good to see the old school coming out swinging and hitting a home run. This is a fast paced, very enjoyable action romp that allows its players and its audience to kick back and have a good time.

Summit entertainment has commissioned this film’s writers Erich and Jon Hoeber to pen another installment. If all this film’s players return for another one, consider me first in line.


{2jtab: Film Info}

Red Movie blu-ray reviewMPAA Rating: PG-13 for intense sequences of action violence and brief strong language.
Director: Robert Schwentke
: John Hoeber
Cast: John Malkovich; Helen Mirren; Bruce Willis
Genre: Action | Comedy
Tagline: Still Armed. Still Dangerous. Still Got It.
Distributor: Summit Entertainment
Official Site:
Memorable Movie Quote: "I remember the CIA being tougher."
Release Date: October 15, 2010.
Blu-ray Release Date:
January 25, 2011.

Synopsis: Frank (Bruce Willis), Joe (Morgan Freeman), Marvin (John Malkovich) and Victoria (Helen Mirren) used to be the CIA’s top agents – but the secrets they know just made them the Agency’s top targets. Now framed for assassination, they must use all of their collective cunning, experience and teamwork to stay one step ahead of their deadly pursuers and stay alive. To stop the operation, the team embarks on an impossible, cross-country mission to break into the top-secret CIA headquarters, where they will uncover one of the biggest conspiracies and cover-ups in government history


{2jtab: Blu-ray Details}

Red - Blu-ray Review

Component Grades

Blu-ray Disc
4 stars

4 stars

Blu-ray Experience
4 stars


Blu-ray Details:

Available on Blu-ray - January 25, 2011
Screen Formats: 2.40:1
: English SDH, Spanish
English: Dolby Digital 5.1; Spanish: Dolby Digital 2.0
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; Single disc (1 BD)

Pretty much flawless MPEG-4 AVC encode; the picture never wavers through the myriad of locations and times of day. Flesh tones are natural; some of the garish costumes pop out of the screen and the action scenes/explosions are a spectacle to behold. The sound is equally impressive. Special features include a picture in picture supplemental that is pretty exhaustive, commentary and deleted scenes. Not bad.



  • Feature-length audio commentary track with retired CIA field officer Robert Baer, who served as an advisor on the film.

Special Features:

  • Deleted Scenes (HD, 9 minutes)
  • Access: Red - As the movie plays, written facts pertaining to various aspects of 'Red' and featurettes pop up in isolated windows under such headings as "Did You Know?," "Damage Control," "Retired Hall of Fame," "CIA Exposed," "Cast Insights," and "Expert Intel." There's also an audio commentary pop-up from ex-CIA agent Baer that's excerpted from his full-length commentary.


{2jtab: Trailer}