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Review Red (2010): Fun for maybe two viewings!

genre: comic book adaptation, action, espionage, comedy

Red is one of those oddball films that is a sum of several great concepts and ideas, but where the execution of those ideas fail a little. For example, Frank Moses (Bruce Willis) is catapulted into this mystery adventure where, while is fighting off his assailants, he is trying to find out who is behind it all. It's pretty much a serious affair. However, tonally, the film is one big farce or a screwball comedy. This tone really gets in the way of the thrilling viewing experience it could have been.

Now, don't get me wrong, some of the comedy I liked. There certainly is one character who stands out in this regard. John Malkovich as Marvin Boggs is hilarious. If you think about it, it's quite tragic how he became the person who he is. But him constantly being paranoid, ridiculous but right makes everything so funny. But I read that in the comic books it was never supposed to be comedic. And you can tell since like I stated earlier, some elements seem to clash with each other. Another example, is the romance element. Between Moses and Sarah Ross (Mary-Louise Parker). I could appreciate it but is not sold in a believable manner. The chemistry between Willis and Parker is almost non-existent. Parker certainly lacks the ability to shine through her real emotions while supposedly being angry and terrified by Moses suddenly appearing. Not even when she quits down, you get the sense that she loves him. It takes a character like Boggs or Victoria (Hellen Mirren) to point this out to Moses and the audience.

There are some cool and stylish moments in the action sequences, but for the most part it's predictable and generic. Perhaps if the tone was serious, then maybe the action would have felt more urgent and exciting. Now, it's just serviceable. I have watched this film twice now, and that is all I need from it. I feel no desire to return to it. Actually, the sole purpose for me watching again was to write a review for it. This really is a film you can only watch once or twice before you get bored with it.

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