Red (12A)

Starring: Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman, John Malkovich, Helen Mirren
Click to follow
The Independent Culture

Never tell Hollywood action heroes in their 50s and 60s, that they're a bit past it.

Otherwise, you'll end up with John Malkovich pulling a giant revolver on you, firing a bullet that stops an armour-piercing shell, and yelling, as he emerges from the ensuing flames: "Too old, my ass!" His old muckers, Willis, Freeman and Mirren are ex-CIA executives, specialising in "black ops," who aren't enjoying their new status as "Retired: Extremely Dangerous" (RED, geddit?) When Willis' home is shot up by an execution gang, he drags them all back into action, along with cute pensions-processor girlfriend, Sarah (Mary-Louise Parker) as a goggle-eyed witness to their adventures. It's very old-fashioned spy nonsense (the jazz guitar soundtrack is 1960s The Man from U.N.C.L.E.) with walk-on parts for Ernest Borgnine, reprising his gleeful grin from The Wild Bunch, Brian Cox as a (snore) vodka-swilling Russian and Richard Dreyfuss as a smug villain. Fun, though, and memorable for Helen Mirren elegantly firing a belt-fed machine-gun in a long white ballgown.