DC Comics is never shy of a few famous fans, but Helen Mirren?! You better believe it; as The Queen herself joins aging stars Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman, John Malkovich and Brian Cox in the thoroughly enjoyable screen adaptation of DC Comics' three issue series 'RED'. (Psst it stands for Retired & Extremely Dangerous).
Directed by the man behind in limp Time Traveller's Wife, Robert Schwentke; we see Willis as retired Black Ops agent Frank Moses. Bored with home life in paralysing suburbia, his only saving grace a daily phone-call with Sarah (Mary Louise Parker), a pension advisor to whom he has never met, Frank is suddenly attacked, escaping with his home in ruins and every mother f*cker dead. Seeking help from Sarah & fellow retirees Joe (Freeman), Marvin (Malkovich), Victoria (Mirren) and Ivan (Cox), Willis discovers all is not swell at the CIA, who's Agent Cooper (Karl Urban) is given the task to kill him & his old cronies dead.
The storyline obviously offers up a wealth of fun fight sequences to the Gods, but its the cast that are the shining glory. Each comfortable in their respective roles; Willis is a lovable bad-ass, Malkovich a crazy bastard and Freeman the softly spoken father figure, that you can't help but trust. Mirren is a joy to watch on screen; classic posh English accent in tow, her love for weapons is an original touch that we'd love to see in more of her movies. And it's this comic element that drives the flick home. The script is quick as jokes come thick and fast from Malkovich in the comedy role. Said to have been fed LSD everyday for 10 years, his brilliantly unhinged character steals the stage whenever on screen. So it's no surprise that the flick has been included in the Best Comedy nominations in 2011's Golden Globe Awards.
If you're after a film that will stretch your cerebral side, you may avoid Red...but do so at your own peril. It's perfect escapism; promising enough laughs, great performances and explosions to shake your pistol-shaped-stick at. And let's be honest...how many films will you see Helen Mirren in camoflage with a sniper rifle?!
(We at Jack watched the flick in London's awesome Prince Charles Cinema)