In the opening credits, we see the DC
Comics logo, with some quick pulp graphics, and right away we know we’re
in for the kind of story that doesn’t even try to be believable, just
entertaining. And away we go.
Bruce Willis plays the ex-CIA agent
who’s trying to quietly retire in an anonymous suburb somewhere in
. (The character names aren’t
important, with such a memorable cast.) He finds himself so desperately
lonely that he makes conversation with an anonymous clerk, played by
Mary-Louise Parker, at the call center where his pension checks are
processed. He even lies, and
tells her that he has some business in
the next week, and might she possibly be available for lunch?
But turn the first page of a comic
book, and you’re ready for the black ops action:
mysterious black-clad operatives invade Willis’ nondescript house,
and he, of course, summarily dispatches them, but he knows there are more
where they came from. And he
tries to warn the hapless Parker, but soon she’s embroiled in the chase,
and before long we’ve recruited his old partner, John Malkovich, and their
mentor, Morgan Freeman, not-so-happily ensconced in a nursing home
somewhere, and only too delighted to go ride for one last adventure, along
with the one gun-toting secret agent who takes everyone by surprise, Helen
Yes, of course, they all get to blaze
away at the anonymous adversaries, but the ensuing bloodshed is, well,
pretty bloodless. They fall and
fade from view like they would in a video game.
Our lovely band of Aging Baby Boomers doesn’t exactly escape
unscathed, but those of us “of a certain age” enjoy seeing them kick
some proverbial posterior, after being taken too lightly by those whose
youth makes them underestimate their formidable foes.
Delicious, ain’t it?
The fact that there’s a hint of
dirty politicians authorizing anonymous “hits” in the name of national
security hardly even makes us blink, which is a political commentary in
Don’t expect suspension of
disbelief. But “Red” is a
happily cheesy tale well-processed for the old salt set.
Dr. Ronald P. Salfen, Pastor, Grace