Comic Vine News

27 Comments

Review: RED (Movie) & Comic Comparison

The lastest "DC Comics" movie is now in theaters. Should you go see it?

No Caption Provided
By now you should have heard about the movie RED starring Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman, John Malkovich, Brian Cox, Helen Mirren, Richard Dryfuss and Mary-Louise Parker. Let's be clear, this movie has pretty much nothing to do with the comic by Warren Ellis and Cully Hamner that "inspired" it.
 
The movie deals with former CIA assassin and black operative, Frank Moses (in the comic his name was Paul Moses). While trying to find some semblance of a normal life since he's retired, he gets targeted for assassination himself and inadvertently brings in Mary-Louise Parker's character (who is sort of based on the Sally character in the comic) into his crazy world as they both now are on the run. 
 
In the comic, we get a tiny explanation at the very beginning as to why Moses is targeted by the CIA. The movie goes for setting up Willis' character as a retiree trying to fit into his neighborhood. The action gets pretty intense. In the first action scene I couldn't even tell you how many bullets were fired. It's not a perfect action scene but it does set the tone for the rest of the movie. 
== TEASER == 
No Caption Provided
Of course the major difference between the movie and comic is Moses is not alone. He is not the only one being targeted so it becomes "us against them" as he gets together with his former...co-workers. These are all trained hardcore killers but they are past their prime. This is one of the things that works in the movie. They don't necessarily try to hide the fact that they aren't young action stars. With them, it's about their characters' experience versus being able to single-handedly take on the world.  
 
No Caption Provided
In your typical action movie style, there is a fair share of humor between the characters, especially in the midst of a fire fight. Even though there is lots of gun fire, the banter between them almost lightens mood. Willis, Malkovich, Freeman and Mirren all prove to be somewhat likable characters. Unfortunately Mary-Louise Parker's character proves to be too much in the way she deals with the events unfolding around her. 
 
Being that I'm a big fan of Bruce Willis, the entire movie was enjoyable, but far from perfect. It's hard to compare it directly to the comic because they are just so different. Somehow, Ellis' story in the comic was just okay. It wasn't anything remarkable. Despite being different from the movie, his comic book script would have made a better action movie (despite being on the short side) than it did as a comic. What I really enjoyed about the comic was Cully Hamner's art and the way it created it's own unique tone for the story. 
 
No Caption Provided
Both the movie and comic are worth checking out. It might be hard to believe but I would have to say I actually enjoyed the movie more. It was simply more entertaining, again mainly due to the vast difference between the two. Giving the movie a rating, I'd say it gets a 3.5 out of 5. It's good but not great. It's a mindless action movie that will provide you with two hours worth of action-packed entertainment. There were some rough spots with the movie but they can be overlooked if you are looking to allow yourself to sit back and be entertained (especially the scene where Willis walks out of the police car).
 
(To see what we thought of the comic on it's own, you can watch our video review HERE).