Movie Review: RED

Movie Review: RED

Red RATING:  TBC DISTRIBUTOR: Icon RELEASE DATE: October 28Red is one of those films it’s going to be hard to resist. Based on a popular Marvel comic, crammed full of big-name actors, and featuring a storyline that is as smart as it is visually attractive, Red has the makings of a ‘something for everyone’ film.Red focuses on a group […]

By Mark HadleyTuesday 26 Oct 2010MoviesReading Time: 3 minutes

Red
RATING:  TBC
DISTRIBUTOR: Icon
RELEASE DATE: October 28

Red is one of those films it’s going to be hard to resist. Based on a popular Marvel comic, crammed full of big-name actors, and featuring a storyline that is as smart as it is visually attractive, Red has the makings of a ‘something for everyone’ film.

Red focuses on a group of former CIA operatives who find themselves fighting for survival after they are framed them for an assassination. Bruce Willis plays Frank Moses, the former leader of the team and top target for the CIA’s retribution – Morgan Freeman, John Malkovich, Helen Mirren and Karl Urban fill out an otherwise stacked cast. Apart from art direction and action sequences that well mirror its comic origins, cinema-goers can look forward to ribald sense of humour that balances the big guns:

Marvin Boggs: “Why are you trying to kill me?”
Frank Moses: “Like why would I be trying to kill you?”
Marvin Boggs: “Because last time we met I tried to kill you.”
Frank Moses: “That was a long time ago.
Marvin Boggs: “Some people hold on to things” like that.”

The story is a classic ‘puzzle’ where the good guys struggle to reveal the dark hand behind their dire situation. What emerges is another homage to Hollywood’s obsession with justice. Of course the good guys would actually be considered bad guys in any real-world story, but utilitarian morality rears its ugly head again. If they were doing bad things, it doesn’t mean they liked it, and after all they were doing them for good reason. Erase the explosions and what you actually have here is a more common place justification for living according to the dictates of your personal conscience. Still, that’s not all bad, because when we open ourselves up to our conscience, we’re just as likely to be convicted as excused.

Sherlock
RATING:  M
DISTRIBUTOR: Nine Network
RELEASE DATE: Mondays, 8:30 PM

Sherlock is an instant new favourite. It’s hard to believe that producers could breath new life into literary figure that has been captured on film and television so often, but this new vision of Sherlock Holmes is well worth tuning in for. Seven million British viewers tuned in for its debut in the UK; I’d recommend becoming one of its Australian fans.

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Sherlock’s main point of difference is that it shifts Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s famous detective from the 19th to the 21st century.

Sherlock Holmes (Benedict Cumberbatch – Atonement) and Doctor Watson (Martin Freeman – The Office) are the same, and yet not the same characters crime drama fans have come to expect.
Sherlock is a self-confessed ‘high functioning sociopath’; Doctor Watson is a Royal Marines medico recently returned from Afghanistan. They both preserve the essential brilliance and loyalty at the heart of their characters, while presenting us with a view of what such a team would look like to the modern world.
Sherlock is barely tolerated by Scotland Yard because he manages the unimaginable, but detectives publicly wonder whether they will be hunting him one day. Watson is a war hero whose scars are largely on the inside. Both find a much-needed friend, while making it perfectly clear that they’re ‘not that way inclined’.

Sherlock is a triumph for fans of the ‘puzzle’ style drama, with interesting visual twists that let the audience in on the great detective’s thinking process. More than that, though, it demonstrates how easily someone’s perspective can turn a hero into a villain. I don’t doubt that many looked on Jesus as the worst thing to ever arrive in Jerusalem because of the way he upset accepted practice, but like Holmes, his real value is judged by the results he achieved.