Seeing 'Red'

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Our own Chris Orr goes in:


Red, the new action-comedy--is there a more ominous cinematic term these days?--features performances by Bruce Willis, Mary-Louise Parker, Morgan Freeman, Helen Mirren, John Malkovich, Brian Cox, Richard Dreyfuss, Rebecca Pigeon, Karl Urban, and Ernest Borgnine. It may be that I've mislaid another star or two in the accounting; it's hard to keep track when a motion picture is so profligate with talent.

One would imagine that any movie boasting such a cast would inevitably offer its share of rewards. Alas, director Robert Schwentke offers yet another reminder that cinema is not arithmetic. When Schwentke made his American debut in 2005 with Flightplan, I described the film as an example of the Hollywood maxim that more is often less; with Red, the German-born director takes that maxim and expands it exponentially.

Damn. I was hoping it would be good.
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Ta-Nehisi Coates is a national correspondent at The Atlantic, where he writes about culture, politics, and social issues. He is the author of the memoir The Beautiful Struggle.

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