Mr. Church reunites the Expendables for what should be an easy paycheck, but when one of their men is murdered on the job, their quest for revenge puts them deep in enemy territory and up against an unexpected threat.
Frank (Bruce Willis) is retired, bored, and lonely living off his government pension in a nondescript suburb in an equally nondescript house. The only joy in Frank's life is his calls to the government pension processing center when he gets to talk to his case worker, Sarah (Mary-Louis Parker). Sarah is as bored and lonely as Frank and marks her conversations with the unknown Frank and her spy novels as the only things fun in her life. When something in Frank's past forces Frank back into his old line of work and puts an unwitting Sarah in the middle of the intrigue, Frank and Sarah begin a journey into Frank's past and the people he used to work with. Like Frank they are all RED ... Retired Extremely Dangerous. Written by
Malcolm is Crazy
Bruce Willis and Julian McMahon have been engaged to model and actress Brooke Burns. McMahon and Burns were later married from 1999-2001, while Willis and Burns were engaged for part of 2003-2004, but were never married. See more »
When the team traps the Vice-President's group in the parking garage, Victoria (Helen Mirren) is firing a 50 caliber machine gun at the group to keep them pinned down. An ammunition can is visible hanging off the weapon's left side. The armor-piercing ammunition readily pierces the vehicles.
The 50 caliber weapon is a belt-fed machine gun. Its large ammunition (5.45" in length) is usually fed from an ammunition can weighing 35 pounds and holding 100 rounds. The weapon at the sustained high rate of fire shown would be firing 450-550 rounds per minute, requiring it to be reloaded with a new can about every 13 seconds.
Before and after the VP's security team flanks the weapon and discover it is unmanned, it has been firing for at least 30 seconds without being reloaded. The armor-piercing ammunition would not only have easily penetrated the vehicles but the people hiding behind them. See more »
[on the phone]
943-66-2291. Pension Services, please.
Thank you, Mr. Moses, please hold for your representative.
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Bullets, guns and explosions play out over the end credits. See more »
John McClane, Cyrus the Virus, God and The Queen team up and kill people for laughs
A retired CIA operative, hunted by his own people, reunites his old team for one last mission. It's certainly not an original story, mashing together ideas that we've seen before in the Bourne series, The Expendibles and The Losers. 'RED' (which stands for 'Retired, Extremely Dangerous') is the 4th film this year to be adapted from a graphic novel. It is also the 4th to feature men going on a mission, and the 5th with a plot involving the CIA. I couldn't help but feel skeptical. But then I noticed the cast list and realised that this is meant to be a comedy. At this point I saw the project in a different light. 'RED' is a film in which John McClane, God, Cyrus the Virus and The Queen join forces and kill people for laughs. Clearly this was going to be a film where story and sense came second to cast and chemistry.
From 'Die Hard' to 'Sin City', Bruce Willis' good-guy-having-a-bad-day routine has evolved little, but it does not need to be fixed. His performance in 'RED' is familiar, but he is never less than entertaining. This time he brings with him an air of self-parody. Throughout the film he maintains a carefree poker-face, as though he's done this so many times over the years that he can afford to be relaxed. There are valid attempts at making Willis seem more normal, and these can be quite amusing. The first 10 minutes, which show him adjusting to retirement and aimlessly wandering around the house in his dressing gown, are reminiscent of Carl Fredricksen's first appearance as an old man in 'Up'. Deeper characterisation, however, only serves to show how abnormal he really is, and it is a delight to see him in action.
With the exception of Willis, the cast is made up of actors who have no business waving guns around. Helen Mirren was an inspired choice, as if making up for the predictability of Willis' casting. Flower-arranging OAP on the outside and bad-ass hit-woman on the inside, Mirren is strangely suited to action. There is something about the juxtaposition of her gran-like demeanour with exaggerated violence that makes her very funny and extremely watchable.
John Malkovich is particularly entertaining in his performance as a mentally questionable conspiracy theorist who refuses to retire peacefully. After the numerous roles he has played with an undercurrent of insanity, it is hilarious to see him go full-on howling mad. It is not often that Malkovich gets to flex his comedy muscles, but he steals every scene in which he appears.
Morgan Freeman is unfortunately the weakest part of this alternative A-Team, not because of his performance but because he is under-utilised. He has little action time and even less characterisation. There is a glimpse at pervy-old-man behaviour (which could have been funny) and a mention of health problems (which could have been touching) but these are quickly forgotten. It is as though the writers were distracted, trying too hard to develop a secondary storyline involving Willis' romance with a pension office clerk. This subplot adds little and distracts from the main picture. It is a pity, because the wasted effort could have been more effectively put into making the story tighter, or on giving Morgan Freeman more screen time.
Overall, this is a good laugh, even if you won't remember it afterwards. Taking things less seriously and trying less hard to be cool means that 'RED' is more fun than 'The Expendibles', and less embarrassing too. Stallone can mumble all he wants about "shooting real action" - I'd rather see the Queen fire machine guns.
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