At The Theater #34: Red

I caught Red at a near-empty City Cinemas theater on 1st Ave and 60 St. There was me, the guy who walked in a minute before me, the guy who walked in a minute after me and a set of five grandmothers. I’m still trying to figure out what was up with those five grandmothers? Would they see anything with Helen Mirren or Morgan Freeman in it or were they just adrenaline junkies looking for a morning fix?

Even without the grandmothers, I was surprised the theater was this crowded. Not because Red is bad, in fact I liked it a lot, but because the screening was at 11:30 AM on a Monday. I thought there would be a good chance I’d be having a screening of one. Still, with only 7 people in the entire theater, I was able to spread out nicely and enjoy the movie.

Red is an action-comedy. What makes it work is that the comedy doesn’t come at the expense of the action. The action isn’t over-the-top slapstick, which works very well in other movies, but wouldn’t work here. The tone of Red is very similar to that of NBC’s Chuck, but without the dork-humor.

The scene where assassins descend on Bruce Willis’s suburban home was awesome. When that scene ended and his house is riddled with thousands of bullets, all I could think about were his neighbors, who all must be freaking out. Those killers weren’t exactly quiet in any sense of the word. And even if you sleep like a log, what would your reaction be to finding all those bullet casings in your cul-de-sac in the morning?

Also, can someone please explain to me how Willis got from the kitchen to behind the assassins in the hallway? I don’t remember seeing any second doorway. Did I miss something? I’d like to know in case a team of trained killers descends on my home. I’ll walk into the kitchen all confident thinking “You fools didn’t know I saw Red,” but then realize I have no idea how to get from the kitchen to back behind them.

The story of Red is nothing special. Anyone who has seen an action movie is probably familiar with the ex-CIA-agent-is-deemed-too-dangerous-to-live plot, but the movie is very entertaining. The dialogue is great, as is the cast. There were plenty of scenes that had me laughing loudly in the near-empty theater.

You have to really give it up for Helen Mirren. The very attractive Mary-Louise Parker is in Red, but you kind of forget about her when Mirren shows up. I hope I’m as sexy as Helen Mirren is when I’m her age. Actually, I wish I were as sexy as she is at my current age.

She’s 65.

If I had any problems with the movie, it was the very last scene. The surviving members of the crew are driving off into the sunset, making plans for the future when Bruce Willis and Mary-Louise Parker start going at it like their trying to channel their inner Tom Cruise and Kelly McGillis (link to Top Gun). Look, I’m no prude, but they weren’t even alone in the back seat. John Malkovich had to awkwardly sit there next to them. And they were in the middle of a conversation with everyone else in the car when they started going at it like two teenagers in the back of a Pontiac. Hey Bruce, come up for air! Brian Cox is asking you a question!