Frank (Willis) is a former black-ops CIA agent living a quiet life alone...until the day a hit squad shows up to kill him. With his identity compromised, Frank reassembles his old team - Joe (Freeman), Marvin (Malkovich) and Victoria (Mirren) - and sets out to prove that they still have a few tricks up their sleeves. Stand back and watch the bullets fly in this explosive action-comedy.
Based on the DC Comics' property, Red combines the comedy and action genres very well with some amazing veteran actors. It borders on the thin line of silliness and over-the-top action, but in a good way, as the chemistry between everyone is as infectious as it is entertaining. Director Robert Schwentke (Allegiant, Insurgent) has allowed his big A-list stars to run wild with their off-beat personalities onscreen, and despite some slow pacing here and there, Red is a lot of fun. With a cast that includes Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman, Helen Mirren, John Malkovich, Richard Dreyfuss, Brian Cox, Ernest Borgnine, Mary-Louise Parker, and James Remar as retired spies of many factions.
The main focus is on a guy named Frank Moses (Bruce Willis), who is retired from the CIA and spends a lot of his days talking to a woman over the phone named Sarah (Mary-Louise Parker), who works at the CIA pension office. They decide to meet one day, but Moses is attacked in his home by heavily armed individuals. Even though Moses is retired, he still can turn on the "Jason Bourne" switch and survive and kill the bad guys.
He soon sets out to find out who is at the bottom of this and to see if his girlfriend is ok, which brings him to his former mentor and boss, Joe (Morgan Freeman), who is living it up senior-style in New Orleans. After some speculation, the two hit up Marvin (John Malkovich), a big conspiracy theorist who may have some answers, along with a retired assassin named Victoria (Helen Mirren), as they all band together to track down the person in charge.
Mere plot details and dialogue really don't matter here as it all seems mostly ludicrous and if these aged actors are performing for Michael Bay with big explosions every few minutes, millions of bullets flying overhead, and big car chases zooming down packed streets. It's all part of the appeal with these amazing actors out of their comfort zone, seeing most of these thespians have a bit of fun with big guns. Sure there are moments that more absurd than others, but play to great fanfare, such as a scene where Helen Mirren is handling a gun like Rambo in his prime. It's just fun to see the Queen do something like this.
As for Morgan Freeman, who plays an 80-something guy here, showed at the time that nothing was slowing him down in the action department. Everyone's delivery is spot on and brings some great one-liners and the comedy around every turn. There is also a genuine love story in the background too that never gets in the way of any of the action, but only enhances it. Red never takes itself too seriously, but knows that it simply wants to have fun, and like the actors on screen, I think you will too here.
Vital Disc Stats: The 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray
Red comes with a dual-layered UHD66 Disc and a Region A locked Blu-ray Disc. There is an insert for a Digital HD copy. The discs are housed in an eco-friendly, hard, black plastic case with a cardboard sleeve too.
Lionsgate is painting the town a certain color with their new 4K UHD release of Red that sports a 2160p UHD transfer and is presented in 2.40:1 aspect ratio with Dolby Vision (and HDR10 for those without Dolby Vision displays).
This is certainly an upgrade from the previous Blu-ray release, with greater detail and deeper colors. That being said, some of the film grain here that's made the movie look filmic, has a small amount of noise with this 4K UHD transfer. It's not a misfire by any means, but it's noticeable from time to time. Color-wise, there are deeper shades of certain colors, such as the blue police uniforms and the camouflage outfits that the characters wear. Reds and greens also look wonderful here too and much deeper in all lighting conditions. Black levels are deep and inky always without any evidence of crush and the skin tones are very natural.
The detail is quite sharp and vivid as well, with close-ups showing every wound, wrinkle, bead of sweat, and makeup blemishes very nicely. The textures on the actor's faces with their stubble look great. Some of the characters wear certain fur costumes, which each strand of fur can be seen, even in the darker scenes. Wider shots never go soft and show the imperfections of brick and stone buildings with ease. I wouldn't say that any color is highly stylized or oversaturated, but rather everything has a very realistic look if not on the cool side of the color spectrum. There was some very minor banding, but other than that, this video presentation looks great.
Oh my. Red comes with an impressive Dolby Atmos track that just tears the roof off.
If you want to show your friends how good your new audio system is, specifically in the Dolby Atmos department, you can put in the Red disc. I was blown away. Sound effects are booming. Every gunshot and explosion is robust yet nuanced as to catch every bit of the debris fallout all over the room. It's excellent, to say the least, with amazing directionality. The height speakers capture all of the bullets and vehicles flying overhead, along with environmental sounds that just make this audio track so much fun to listen to. Each noise has some great heft to it that allows for the bass to kick hard and smooth.
The LFE is fantastic and the dynamic range is wide from start to finish. The dialogue is always clear and easy to follow and free of any pops, cracks, hiss, or shrills. Also with the dialogue, it doesn't matter if a character is yelling or talking softly, this audio mix perfectly handles echoes and ambient reverbs nicely. Car crashes pack a punch and every takedown and kick provides amble low-end sound that punches you right in the gut. The music of the film always adds to the energy of the film without drowning out any other sound, leaving this Dolby Atmos mix quite stellar.
Red certainly brings the fun and entertainment. What other movie are you going to see these thespian actors hold giant guns, kill bad guys, and walk slowly from big explosions? The answer is nowhere, but Red and I'm here to say that you'll have a great time with it. The actor's chemistry and comedic delivery is spot on everywhere. It won't win any Oscars, but it will win your action heart over in a second. The 4K video is a definite upgrade and looks amazing, and the Dolby Atmos sound is simply incredible and demo-worthy. There are no new extras, but the original ones are imported over here on the Blu-ray version. Highly Recommended!