Skip to content

At The Movies With Peter Clease: Red

As a general rule, the more (')significant(') players involved in any filmic production, the more egregious the film ought to be;--and furthermore, if fame has thought us anything, it is that one's soul has a cheap price.


As a general rule, the more (')significant(') players involved in any filmic production, the more egregious the film ought to be;--and furthermore, if fame has thought us anything, it is that one's soul has a cheap price. Bruce Willis, for instance, accounting his sexual attraction to bad films, would seem to sell out for a well-done cookie-guide subscription. There are others, however, such as Helen Mirren, who it seems would not gorge mediocrity, save for when, say, her family be taken hostage; unfortunately, these days, a kin kidnapping seems to occur monthly to the dame.


"Red" reeks as conformism; and its scent does not aerate, but rather thickens and wheedles ideas into conventional mythology. Mixed, black and white forms, always, into a shade of gray. One plus one is always the de-product of two. Colours: blue is blue; red is red; yellow is yellow. In films such as these, there's no room for in-betweens; or for that matter, for any analytical discussion, period. There are right answers and there are wrong answers, and ironically "Red" is neither: it has no questions to question; therefore, no answers to answer a question--instead, it wanders not knowing what or who it is through its duration. It has no one to sit with in the cafeteria.


Yet, it does have a few outside friends. Willis, playing a form of Willis, named Frank, is the film's protagonist; a spy and killer, he's one of those undeveloped-pretend-to-be-developed curiosities. As of now, he is the target of a man-hunt, À la Bourne, and brings along a phone tart, named Sarah (Mary-Louise Parker), who sputters between terrified and overtly, almost sickly, excited. A agent, William (Karl Urban), designed to cover up a political scandal of some kind, chases down Frank, who in turn, recruits a few former 'colleagues.'


Of these members, include John Malkovich, Morgan Freeman and Brian Cox. They, like the aforesaid, are given poor material, insofar that it can be called a script, since it seems disjunctive and hollow--hollow, hollow jokes and phrases. The situations seem not only unrealistic, but uninteresting--and it fails, fails, fails. Russians will be Russians. Pervs will be Pervs. English will be English. It seems, to me, that if a premise--which wants to be political, yet is politically correct, which wants to be current and character driven, yet is dribble, repetition, repetition, repetition--seeking clarity, then it is certainly an oddity when the most exciting image is one of a stuffed, pink, fluffy boar.

2.5 out of 5 popcorns.