We love Space Cowboys, an entertaining and rambunctious film directed by Clint Eastwood about a group of aging Air Force pilots who are recruited by NASA for a special mission. This good-natured tale punctures the cliché that the longer we live, the less we are worth. Similarly, Red, directed by Robert Schwentke based on a graphic novel by Warren Ellis and Cully Hamner, explores this theme in a spunky and funny action drama about a colorful band of CIA veterans and their reintroduction to a life of danger and adventure.
Frank Moses (Bruce Willis), a former black-ops agent for the CIA, is living a quiet life in retirement. Every morning he takes his pills, does his exercise, and gets his mail. Frank is amused at himself for carrying on a romantic phone tryst with Sarah Ross (Mary-Louise Parker), his pension administrator. He is still considered RED ("retired and extremely dangerous") by CIA agent Cynthia Wilkes (Rebecca Pidgeon) and she sends William Cooper (Karl Urban), a CIA hit man, to kill him. But before he can accomplish this mission, a mysterious hi-tech squad shows up to assassinate Frank. He easily dispatches them and is soon on his way to rescue Sarah, who has been put in harm's way by talking to him on tapped telephones. She is not happy about being kidnapped, but soon adapts herself to this odd relationship on the road.
Fans of the large and elderly cast (average age of 63) will enjoy watching the pranks of Joe (Morgan Freeman), who leaves a retirement home to help Frank find out who is attacking him and why; Marvin (John Malkovich), a paranoid crazy man; Victoria (Helen Mirren), a high class woman who enjoys weapons; and Ivan (Brian Cox), a Russian spy with a soft spot for Victoria. The man who has all the answers to the questions posed by Frank and his band of old troopers is a defense contractor (Richard Dreyfuss), who was behind a secret mission to Guatemala years ago — a mission that is now giving the jitters to an important government figure.
Besides savoring the performances by these seasoned actors, we enjoyed Red's snippets of romantic dialogue between Frank and Sarah — in between the bullets, crashing cars, and explosions.
Special features on the special edition DVD include deleted and extended scenes; "Access: Red - cast insights"; CIA exposed; and an audio commentary with retired CIA field officer Robert Baer.