Image courtesy of Movies Onlines
Before I went to go see the film, Red, I read the graphic novel it was based on. After reading it, I was extremely happy that the only similarities between the film and the graphic novel were the title, and the main character’s name.
The graphic novel consists of three chapters, and I would say that 75% of the content consisted of stylized killings. I am all for some good violence scenes in a graphic novel, but if it is taking up the majority of the story, with no dialogue, it grows dull. The graphic novel did not really have any closure at the end; it leaves you with a cliffhanger. Even though the cliffhanger does give you the opportunity for you to give it your own ending, the plot mainly consists of random killings and a little back-story of the main character, Frank Moses.
The film, on the other hand, was made into more of an action-comedy flick, with a difference in plot. They both center on a former black-ops CIA agent, Frank Moses (portrayed by Bruce Willis in the film). Moses learns that he has had a hit put on him and is now trying to figure out who did it, along with the help of some former teammates. In the graphic novel, he had no teammates. Also, in the film, Red, stood for “retired extremely dangerous,” which was Frank Moses’ label.
The film, itself, has a perfect balance of action and comedy, with a lot of help from actor John Malkovich in the comedic scenes. Malkovich portrays Marvin Boggs, a paranoid conspiracy theorist who aides them with the names of the other people on the hit list, and tells Moses that all the names are connected, dealing with a secret mission to Guatemala that Moses participated in 1981. Throughout the film, Malkovich produces many great one-liners; one of my favorites is where he shoots somebody, and afterwards he excitedly says, “Can we get pancakes?” something completely inapplicable.
The film’s action scenes were a little over the top, but they were still very enjoyable to watch. A scene, where Moses or Boggs launched a grenade at somebody, showed the grenade vaporize the target and engulf them in flames. I am pretty sure grenades do not do that in real life. The physical fighting scenes were incredible to watch. Bruce Willis shows how skilled he is, even at his age. There is another scene where Moses and William Cooper (portrayed by Karl Urban), the person chasing after Moses and his friends, are in a fist fight and Moses shows how much more skilled he is than Cooper. The scene involves Moses holding Cooper in an arm bar; he asks if Kordeski trained him, and Cooper responds that he was. Moses says that he was the one that trained Kordeski then dislocates Cooper’s shoulder. So, this film is a definitely see, if you’re a big fan of action-comedies.