Friday, November 5, 2010

Amused at the Movies

Last night I saw RED, the new spy caper with Helen Mirren, Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman, and John Malkovitch. This movie features a plot that bears no relation whatsoever to any known spy agencies, to actual international relations, to reality itself, or even to self-consistency (the same people are alternately crack shots with a rifle at a huge distance and unable with an AK-47 to hit someone in the same room). It is a ridiculous movie. I loved it.

If you're going to make a spoof, then you must go over the top, and RED does it. The acronym, it turns out, stands for "retired, extremely dangerous," which describes all four protagonists. Willis is leading a bored and lonely existence. Malkovitch is paranoid nuts, and nobody does nuts as well as John Malkovitch. Freeman is in a nursing home. Mirren leads the life of a genteel Martha Stewart who also "takes the odd contract on the side." Then someone using federal agencies tries to kill them all.

This is comic-book stuff, and far more entertaining than Batman and Robin. Halfway through the movie I realized that part of the reason it's so much fun is seeing old people do un-elderly things. Then I realized that my last Hugo and Nebula were both for old guys doing un-elderly things: Henry Erdmann in "The Erdmann Nexus" and the larcenous Max Feder in "Fountain of Age." Then I realized that age interests me more than youth. This might have depressed me -- except that the movie is too much fun. Go see it.


Tim of Angle said...

Far be it from me to complain, but it is entirely possible to be a crack shot with a rifle at a huge distance and yet unable to hit somebody with an AK-47 in the same room. They are two different skills, typically exercised under completely different circumstances. (Plus the AK-47 kicks like a mule; unless you've practiced with it extensively, you're first shot had better be spot on because there's no telling where subsequent shots will go.)

A.R.Yngve said...

I have never had a problem with old people being heroes in movies -- in fact, they look more credible than inexperienced teenagers and child-men accomplishing the same fictional acts.

My only problem is when movies routinely pair old guys with young-enough-to-be-their-daughters female co-stars... as parodied in this MAD TV sketch:

Lou said...

You got it, Nancy. I'm going to go watch it now.

Funny how you keep advising me to see movies and I go see them. I swear I have free will.

I swear I do.


José Iriarte said...

I *really* enjoyed this movie.

I don't get out as much as I'd like, so this isn't saying much, but I can't remember the last movie that was this much fun.