By M. Scott Morris/NEMS Daily Journal
We have movie stars because some human beings belong on the big screen, while most of us don’t.
Call it charm, star power or whatever. It’s real, and it turned the new action comedy “RED” into an enjoyable trip to the movies.
Bruce Willis plays retired CIA agent Frank Moses, who’s forgotten more about under cover operations than Oliver North has forgotten.
When a hit squad is hired to take him out, Willis decides he needs help from his old co-workers.
After a quick trip to quasi-kidnap his love interest (Mary-Louise Parker), Frank seeks help from Joe (Morgan Freeman), who’s amused to find himself dying in a retirement home.
Next comes Marvin Boggs (John Malkovich). He’s still suffering the effects of long-term LSD experiments, but paranoia isn’t crazy if everyone really is out to get you.
The team also seeks help from killer-for-hire and Martha Stewart clone, Victoria (Helen Mirren).
They’re trying to find out who ordered a string of hits on former agents, while they’re being tracked by a hard-charging, young CIA agent (Karl Urban).
Along the way, they meet up with Ernest Borgnine, Richard Dreyfuss and Brian Cox.
Put unknowns into these roles, and you might end up with a straight-to-cable snoozer.
But the stars shine in this goofy movie, and they make it look easy.
Please understand: “RED” never approaches anything near greatness. But it is infectious, and I think Malkovich could squeeze laughs out of a reading from the phone book, especially if he were allowed to improvise.
Sure, you’ll get explosions and gunfights, throw-away sight gags and ridiculous situations.
You’ll also get Willis and his experienced team of movie stars. That’s not bad.
I give “RED” a B minus.
It’s showing at Malcos in Tupelo, Oxford, Corinth and Columbus, as well as Hollywood Premier Cinemas in Starkville and Movie Reel 4 in New Albany.
Look for movie reviews in Scene on Thursdays, and listen each Tuesday morning on Wizard 106.7 between 8:30 and 8:45 a.m.
Kelli Karlson with Wizard 106.7 gives “RED” a B.
“It’s a funny movie. Bruce Willis is hot.”