Winning comedy action thriller

RED Summit Entertainment Rating: 14A 111 minutes

Alf Cryderman

Alf Cryderman

In CIA jargon RED stands for Retired Extremely Dangerous. Bruce Willis plays a retired black ops guy who’s bored and lonely except for a phone relationship with a friendly clerk (Mary-Louise Parker) who helps him with his retirement cheques.

But unknown forces are out to kill him and Parker so they are soon on the run and looking for help from former CIA buddies Morgan Freeman (who’s dying of cancer) and John Malkovich, a neurotic ex-op who took LSD a few too many times.

No surprise when it turns out it’s the CIA that is trying to kill them, led by a very efficient Karl Urban. Our merry band of ex-agents get more help from Helen Mirren, playing a still gorgeous ex-MI6 op and Brian Cox, their former Russian opponent. Ninety-three year old Ernest Borgnine shows up as a CIA file keeper and Richard Dreyfuss plays old too.

The film is based on an action comic. Now none of this is even remotely believable and it’s often quite silly, but usually funny; sort of an action movie for aging boomers. Our unlikely cast of senior citizens fight and shoot like 20-year-olds as they blow up the bad guys and win the day.

While Willis is often wooden and seems to think he’s in Die Hard 5, the rest of the cast are into the not–taken seriously spirit of it all. Particularly enjoyable is Mirren looking attractive handling guns that Rambo might have trouble with.

Rating: four deer of five

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Alf Cryderman is a Red Deer freelance writer and old movie buff.