Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Robert Schwentke|
by Warren Ellis
|Music by||Christophe Beck|
|Edited by||Thom Noble|
|Distributed by||Summit Entertainment|
|Box office||$199 million|
Red is a 2010 American action comedy film inspired by the limited comic book series of the same name created by Warren Ellis and Cully Hamner and published by the DC Comics imprint Homage. The film stars Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman, John Malkovich, Mary-Louise Parker, Helen Mirren and Karl Urban, with German film director Robert Schwentke directing a screenplay by Jon Hoeber and Erich Hoeber. In the film version, the title is derived from the designation of former CIA Agent Frank Moses (Bruce Willis), meaning "Retired, Extremely Dangerous".
The film was released on October 15, 2010. The film grossed $199 million worldwide. In 2011, the film received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Musical or Comedy Film. A sequel, Red 2, was released on July 19, 2013. Another sequel, Red 3, is in development.
Frank Moses, retired black-ops CIA agent, lives alone in Cleveland, Ohio. Lonely, Frank often chats on the phone with Sarah Ross, a worker at the General Services Administration's Pension Office in Kansas City, Missouri. He creates opportunities to talk to her by tearing up his pension checks and calling her to say they had never arrived.
One night, a "wetwork" (assassination) squad raids Frank's house and attempts to kill him, but he easily wipes them out. Knowing they have tapped his phone, he believes Sarah will be targeted. In Kansas City, as Sarah refuses to go with him, he forcibly ties her up and gags her with duct tape. Meanwhile, CIA agent William Cooper is assigned by his boss, Cynthia Wilkes, to hunt down and kill Frank.
To find out who is targeting him, Frank tracks down his old associates for help. He goes to New Orleans, Louisiana and visits his C.I.A. mentor, Joe Matheson, who now lives in a nursing home. Joe tells Frank that the same hit squad murdered a reporter for The New York Times. Locked in a motel by Frank, Sarah escapes. Another agent, posing as a police officer, tries to kidnap her, but Frank returns in time. Cooper attacks them, but Frank tricks the police into arresting Cooper and escapes with Sarah. The two head to New York City and find clues left behind by the deceased reporter, which leads them to a hit list.
They then find Marvin Boggs, another former black ops agent and a paranoid conspiracy theorist. Marvin tells them the people on the list, including Frank and Marvin, are connected to a secret 1981 mission in Guatemala. Another person on the list, Gabriel Singer, is still alive. The trio tracks down Singer, who tells them that the mission involved extracting a person from a village. Singer is then assassinated by a helicopter-borne machine-gunner, and the team escapes as Cooper closes in.
Frank goes to ex-Russian secret agent Ivan Simanov, who helps him infiltrate CIA headquarters. In the CIA archive, the records keeper, who has much respect for Frank, simply hands him the Guatemala file. Frank confronts Cooper in his office and the two have a vicious fight. Though victorious, Frank is shot during his escape. Having escaped an attempt on his life, Joe arrives and helps extract the team. They hide out in the home of former wetwork agent Victoria (Helen Mirren), who treats Frank's wound and joins the team.
The file gives them clue to the next lead, Alexander Dunning, an illegal arms dealer. Frank, Marvin and Joe enter Dunning's mansion, with Joe posing as a buyer, while Victoria and Sarah keep watch outside. They interrogate Dunning, who reveals the target for extraction was the now–Vice President Robert Stanton (Julian McMahon). Stanton ordered the hit on the people involved in the mission to hide the fact that he massacred village civilians.
Cooper and the FBI surround Dunning's mansion. Cooper tries to negotiate Frank's surrender, and Frank tells him about the Vice President's treachery. The terminally ill Joe pretends to be Frank, walks outside, and is killed by sniper from the Vice President's personal hit squad. The confusion, as well as Victoria's cover fire, buys the team enough time to leave the mansion, but Sarah is captured. They escape with the help of Ivan, who is Victoria's old flame. Frank calls Cooper from his family's phone and warns him against harming Sarah.
The team, along with Ivan, kidnaps Stanton. Frank calls Cooper, offering to trade Stanton for Sarah. At the meeting point, Dunning arrives. After a short dialogue, Dunning injures Stanton, revealing himself and Cynthia Wilkes to be masterminds behind the assassinations. Disgusted with Wilkes' corruption, Cooper pretends to arrest Frank, but shoots Wilkes. Marvin and Victoria kill Dunning's bodyguards, and Frank kills Dunning by crushing his windpipe. Cooper lets Frank's team go. As they leave the scene, Frank and Sarah are eager to start a new life together.
Ivan reminds Frank of his favor. A few months later, Frank and Marvin are in Moldova with a stolen nuclear device. They flee from Moldovan Army troops with Marvin wearing a dress and in a wooden wheelbarrow being pushed by Frank.
Gregory Noveck, a representative of DC Comics working in Hollywood to get their titles made into films, wanted the comic developed but Warner Brothers was not interested. The creators of the comic exercised their right to go elsewhere but this required approval from all divisions of Warner including television before it could be approved. After several years, in 2008 Noveck was allowed to take the project elsewhere, to Mark Vahradian at Di Bonaventura Productions. Unusually this made it the first film from DC not produced by Warner Bros., post-purchase.
In June 2008, Summit Entertainment announced plans to adapt Warren Ellis and Cully Hamner's Red. Red was adapted for the big screen by brothers Erich and Jon Hoeber, who also wrote the adaptations of Whiteout and Alice. The project was produced by Lorenzo di Bonaventura (GI Joe, Transformers).
By April 2009, Bruce Willis was reportedly in discussions with Summit to take the starring role of Frank Moses. It was reported in July 2009 that Morgan Freeman was in talks to co-star alongside Bruce Willis in the film. Also in July 2009, Robert Schwentke, the director of The Time Traveler's Wife and Flightplan, was in negotiations to direct Red. In August 2009 Schwentke confirmed to MTV News that he was on board. He stated that he loved the script but there are differences between the comic and the movie stating; "It's very funny, which the comic book isn't ... It's not as violent as the comic book," and that "The script that I've read is obviously different from the comic, because I don't think the comic gives you enough for a two-hour movie."
In November 2009, it was reported that Helen Mirren would work alongside Freeman and Willis in the film. It was also reported in November 2009 that John C. Reilly and Mary-Louise Parker were in negotiations to join the cast. Reilly would play a retired CIA agent who is paranoid that everyone is out to kill him. Parker would play the romantic interest, a federal pension worker who becomes embroiled in the Willis character's struggle to stay alive. In the same month Julian McMahon, Ernest Borgnine, Richard Dreyfuss and Brian Cox entered negotiations to join the cast.
In December 2009, creator Warren Ellis stated on his mailing list that "(I) Read the RED script. Not bad. Not the book, but not bad. Funny. Especially when you know the casting. Very tight piece of work. Talked to the producers last week. They're all kind of giddy over the casting coups. Who wouldn't want to see Helen Mirren with a sniper rifle?" Also in December 2009 Summit Entertainment announced a release date of October 22, 2010. The same month James Remar was cast in an unspecified role, in addition to Karl Urban as "Cooper". In January 2010 it was reported that John Malkovich had signed to star opposite Bruce Willis, replacing John C. Reilly, who exited the role in late December.
Principal photography began on January 18, 2010 in Toronto, Canada. Red was shot in and around the Toronto metropolitan area for nine weeks before moving on to the road and ending in New Orleans in late March for the final two weeks of principal photography. Filming in the French Quarter of New Orleans commenced in March 2010. Additional photography was shot for a post-credits scene in Louisiana in August 2010.
A teaser trailer for Red was released in June 24, 2010. The first full trailer debuted in July 22, 2010 at the San Diego Comic-Con International. The film premiered at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, California on October 11, 2010. Red was released on Blu-ray and DVD on January 25, 2011.
Red has a 72% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 193 reviews and an average rating of 6.4/10. The consensus reads: "It may not be the killer thrill ride you'd expect from an action movie with a cast of this caliber, but Red still thoroughly outshines most of its big-budget counterparts with its wit and style." Metacritic gave the film a score of 61/100 based on a normalized rating of 37 reviews. Justin Chang of Variety stated Red is "An amusing, light-footed caper about a team of aging CIA veterans rudely forced out of retirement". John DeFore of The Hollywood Reporter stated "Although tailor-made for genre fans, it benefits from flavors of humor and romance that keep its appeal from being fanboy-only".
Conversely, Roger Ebert gave the film two stars out of four, stating that it is "neither a good movie nor a bad one. It features actors that we like doing things we wish were more interesting." A. O. Scott of The New York Times said, "It is possible to have a good time at RED, but it is not a very good movie. It doesn't really try to be, and given the present state of the Hollywood economy, this may be a wise choice". Kenneth Turan of the Los Angeles Times said, "It's not that it doesn't have effective moments, it's that it doesn't have as many as it thinks it does. The film's inescapable air of glib self-satisfaction is not only largely unearned, it's downright irritating".
On its opening weekend Red earned an estimated $22.5 million on around 4,100 screens at 3,255 locations, coming in second behind Jackass 3-D. The film closed in theaters on February 3, 2011, grossing over $90 million in the United States and $108.6 million in foreign markets. The film received an overall gross of $199 million worldwide.
|2010||IGN Summer Movie Award||Best Comic Book Adaptation||Red||Nominated|
|Satellite Award||Best Motion Picture, Comedy or Musical||Red||Nominated|
|Best Actress in a Motion Picture, Comedy or Musical||Mary-Louise Parker||Nominated|
|Best Actor in a Motion Picture, Comedy or Musical||John Malkovich||Nominated|
|2011||Golden Globe Award||Best Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy||Red||Nominated|
|Movies for Grownups Award||Breakthrough Achievement||Helen Mirren||Won|
|EDA Female Focus Award||Actress Defying Age and Ageism||Helen Mirren||Won|
|Best Female Action Star||Helen Mirren||Nominated|
|Outstanding Achievement by a Woman in the Film Industry||Helen Mirren||Nominated|
|Women's Image Award||Helen Mirren||Nominated|
|Artios Award||Outstanding Achievement in Casting - Big Budget Feature - Comedy||
|Saturn Award||Best Action or Adventure Film||Red||Nominated|
|Best Supporting Actor||John Malkovich||Nominated|
|Best Supporting Actress||Helen Mirren||Nominated|
|Critics' Choice Award||Best Action Movie||Red||Nominated|
|NAACP Image Award||Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture||Morgan Freeman||Nominated|
|Scream Award||Best Thriller||Red||Nominated|
|Best Supporting Actress||Helen Mirren||Nominated|
|Best Ensemble||Cast of Red||Nominated|
|Fight Scene of the Year||Red||Nominated|
The film's financial success surpassed producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura's expectations. In October 2011, Summit Entertainment officially announced that Red 2 would be released on August 2, 2013, with Jon and Erich Hoeber rehired to write the screenplay. In March 2013, the film's release date was moved from August 2, 2013 to July 19, 2013. The sequel fared less than its predecessor both critically and financially. The film received mixed reviews from critics and grossed $148.1 million worldwide.
The studio spent about $60 million to make "RED" after tax credits
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