Idiot Savant Online

John Lichman's third attempt at a personal blog and online savanting idiotic.


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dir. Robert Schwentke


The best thing that ever happened to children of the 1980s action genre is that their heroes grew old. It’s a nod that gets so overused in The Expendables that it threatens to grow thick and veiny until it bursts–but I think most genre folk would be OK with the DTV fare pumped out by Segale and Lundgren.

RED gives us another notch in the “our heroes are aging” that Bruce Willis has sauntered quite gracefully through Lucky Number Slevin and Die Hard With A Vengeance. Willis is Bruce Willis the retired CIA bad-ass and Mary-Louise Parker is Mary-Louise Parker the Pension Office Worker who is adorable and together they go on a wild ride to meet up with the support cast (John Malkovich, Helen Mirren, Morgan Freeman and Brian Cox) who all proceed to steal the movie and chew scenery and discuss how their grandkids are doing–except for Morgan, who’d rather talk about the universe.

The most frightening thing about RED is how easy it is to be sucked into the source material from Warren Ellis and Cully Hammer–it’s also fairly different from the original, but as Ellis himself has stated that it was a three issue miniseries being stretched into a 70+ minute film. (And yes, I could easily Google it, but mixing drinks and playing this on repeat are counter-productive.)

But the film’s already a bonafide hit and for good reason: it’s Bruce Willis taking on his role as the Aged Asskicker, which is bound for TV Tropes. Special bonus points to the Karl Urban/Bruce Willis brawl that will become insanely popular on YouTube once the DVD hits and Rebecca Pidgeon as prickly CIA higher-up! It’s like a massive, gigantic cinematic win for everyone involved–until Drive Angry In 3D comes out. Then Summit loses.

Post Script: further discussion of the “Aged Asskicker” is rather wonderfully discussed by Ignatiy Vishnevetsky using Jean-Claude Van Damme on MUBI.


Written by john lichman

October 23, 2010 at 11:36 pm

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