Red
PG-13
Entertainment: +2 1/2
Acceptability: -2 1/2

Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman, Mary Louise Parker, John Malcovich, Helen Mirren. Directed by: Robert Schwenke.

PLOT SYNOPSIS: Frank Moses (Willis), a retired black ops agent, thinks he has finally stopped hunting and being hunted. His favorite pastime is chatting on the phone with bored pension clerk Sarah Ross (Parker) in Kansas City about his retirement check. They’ve never met, but that’s about to change. His quiet home in the suburbs is suddenly invaded by masked assassins, and Frank’s world of “kill or be killed” is about to reappear in living color. Frank tracks down his former coworkers, Joe Matheson (Freeman) in a nursing home and mentally disturbed Marvin Boggs (Malcovich), who enthusiastically join Frank for one last mission. His plans to finally meet Sarah are altered slightly when he kidnaps her, much to the lonely spinster’s delight. Why Frank has been targeted or why he decides to kidnap Sarah is never explained. The title is an acronym for Retired Extremely Dangerous, referring to Frank. This comical assortment of “past their prime” characters, nonstop action and quirky love story will appeal to those who demand action, not substance.

PREVIEW REVIEW: It goes without saying that only viewers who can tolerate constant and intense violence will find Red entertaining. Even the “good guys” are trained assassins who have no respect for life unless it’s their own. Frank and his cronies were called “black ops” because they reported to no agency, conducted clandestine operations for the government which accepted no responsibility for the group’s criminal activity. This kind of espionage does actually exist, which is very disturbing. It’s one thing to read a thriller spy story, but having all the assassinations, torture and terror flashed on a huge screen for almost two hours and call it entertainment is incomprehensible. Even much of the humor embraces violence (“I haven’t killed in years – that is sad.”).

While there’s no sex or nudity, several superfluous strong profanities and obscenities sully the dialogue. Marvin suffers from a mental disability which is explained as LSD induced. Also, Frank drugs Sarah, then ties her to the bed in a motel room while he and his buddies go to work on their pursuers. She is thrilled to be part of something not related to her long hours in a tiny cubicle. Quality loses once again to mediocrity.

Preview Reviewer: Mary Draughon
Distributor: Summit Entertainment

Summary
Crude Language: Crude terms for body parts (a**, ba***)
Obscene Language: None
Profanity: Several uses taking the Lord’s name in vain
Violence: Incessant explosions, killings by hanging, gun battles, torture
Sexual Intercourse: None
Nudity: None
Homosexual Conduct: None
Sexually Suggestive Action/Dialog: None
Drug Abuse: Woman kidnaped and drugged; character with mental problems induced by past use of LSD
Other: Professional killers treated sympathetically; government sanctions violent acts
Running Time: 111 minutes
Intended Audience: Adults

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