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Color our critic unimpressed

Red: Rates a D+.
Courtesy photo

The critics weren’t so kind to The Expendables. I thought it was a guilty pleasure.

The critics have been kinder to Red. Maybe because instead of Bruce Willis meeting up with a bunch of meatheads, he’s with a cast of Oscar winners – Helen Mirren, Ernest Borgnine, Richard Dreyfuss, Morgan Freeman, and John Malkovich.

This movie is garbage, but it has enough jokes that work.

I think the action sequences should’ve been different and more exciting. We sometimes hear how much people spend on special effects (it cost $1 million for the helicopter scenes in Apocalypse Now! alone). The movie probably wasted the budget on the cast, instead.

I think the Mary-Louis Parker character started off great, and they should’ve kept that kidnapping relationship she had going with Willis early on.

Oh, at this point I should explain the movie.

Red stands for “Retired, extremely dangerous.” I’m not sure if that’s a real code the CIA uses, but it works for the movie.

Willis is also extremely bored, and gets a relationship on the phone with Parker (she isn’t a phone sex operator, but the one in charge of sending him his social security checks).

When people try to kill him (in one of the least interesting and most unrealistic ways on film), he flees, kidnaps Parker (fearing she might be in danger if their phones are tapped), and he gets Morgan Freeman out of retirement (why, oh why, couldn’t he say “I’m too old for this shit!”)

Freeman may be dying of liver cancer, but he’s game for a good road trip; just as he was in The Bucket List.

I preferred him coming out of retirement in Unforgiven so much more.

The John Malkovich character is great. The CIA injected LSD into him for 11 years as an experiment. That makes his wackiness fun to watch.

This movie is just so derivative of previous action flicks. For example, the scene where Willis shows Malkovich a storage unit he has, with every kind of weapon imaginable. I just saw that with Nicolas Cage in Kick-Ass last year, and in about 10 other movies over the years.

The cast for this film is stellar, except for Rebecca Pidgeon. I don’t know if it’s all those years of reading husband David Mamet’s dialogue, but her acting is always stiff and awkward to me.

One of my all-time favorite, action/comedy flicks is Midnight Run (Robert De Niro, Charles Grodin). I think that’s the type of vibe this movie was going for, it just wasn’t all that funny. And the action sequences weren’t that great.

There are certainly worse ways to spend two hours, but I’m guessing most people that are going to see this, won’t be disappointed.

I’m giving it a D+.