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Red

Year: 2010
Production Co: Summit Entertainment
Director: Robert Schwentke
Writer: John Hoeber/Erich Hoeber
Cast: Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman, Mary-Louise Parker, Helen Mirren, John Malkovich, Karl Urban

Everything was in the right place from the comedy and the action to the casting. But there was something missing that left the whole thing extremely wanting. Like Doug Liman's Jumper, it would have looked great on paper, the studio and director certain they couldn't get it wrong.

It's very hard to put your finger on exactly what's missing. It might have been the careering tone, never quite knowing whether it was a fun comic book movie (which is actually based on a graphic novel) or a more serious comment on how the US military industrial complex treats those who serve it when they've outlived their usefulness.

There's certainly nothing wrong with the high concept idea – when a political conspiracy surfaces, a gang of ex CIA spies have to come out of retirement and team up to take down the bad guys. The hook is that despite their age they're as lethal as ever.

There's also nothing wrong with the outsider who acts as the audience stand-in to learn all the exposition, but the absolute lack of chemistry between indestructible ex spook Bruce Willis and call centre cubicle drone Mary Louise Parker feels half-baked.

The film has plenty of acting talent at its disposal thanks to Mirren, Freeman and Malkovich. It just never seems to grab hold of it properly, leaving you feeling like any aged actors in Hollywood could have done it rather than Oscar winners.

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