ACTION COMEDY; 1hr 51min

STARRING: Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman, John Malkovich, Mary-Louise Parker, Helen Mirren

Out in the cold: from left, Willis, Malkovich and Mirren

The highlight of the day for pensioner Frank Moses (Willis) is the phone flirtation he’s having with the sweetie who processes his cheques (Parker as Sarah). Frank’s life seems as bland as a bowl of cereal, except that he’s actually a retired CIA black-ops agent, and some bloody-minded agency individuals would like to see the last of him and his creaky RED — Retired Extremely Dangerous — team. It’s high time for the tough (Freeman, Malkovich and Mirren as Joe, Marvin and Victoria) to get going. And go they do in gutsy, graphic-novel style, in an understandably urgent attempt to work out why they’re suddenly a target.


Whatever big guns he’s toting, Willis, of course, couldn’t be any cooler without icing over. Freeman and Mirren are all easy-peasy class and Malkovich’s Marvin is foxy-crazy in that distinctively notched-down Malkovichian manner. However heavy the going, as the wheels of intrigue spin all the way to the top tier of government, director Robert Schwentke and his self-aware cast keep the mood mellow; cracking wise, hitting hard and turning standard-issue action into a triumph of defiance.