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ON FAITH & MEDIA View Comments

RED

By
John Mulderig
Source: Catholic News Service


John Malkovich and Morgan Freeman star in "RED."
Despite what its title might suggest, the witty spy caper "RED" (Summit), though packed with mayhem, is mostly free of gore. Still, a succession of gunfights and explosions punctuate director Robert Schwentke's amusingly executed adaptation of Warren Ellis and Cully Hamner's graphic novel, restricting the appropriate audience for this romp.

As a matter of fact, the film's moniker doesn't refer to the color of blood at all, but to the phrase "retired and extremely dangerous." That's an apt description of ex-CIA agent Frank Moses (Bruce Willis) whose tranquil transition from black-ops expert to pensioner is rudely interrupted by the arrival in his home of a band of masked assassins.

Frank outguns his attackers and takes to the road, following through on a planned first meeting with Sarah Ross (Mary-Louise Parker), the much younger Social Security bureaucrat with whom he has been carrying on a long-distance flirtation. Fearing for her life as well as his own, Frank forces Sarah to join him on the lam.

As the pair struggle to evade the attentions of William Cooper (Karl Urban), the latest hit man tasked with eliminating them, they gradually unravel the conspiracy—concocted by a shadowy cabal of high-level government and business figures—that has led to their being targeted.

They're aided by a trio of Frank's former associates: reliable intelligence veteran Joe (Morgan Freeman), entertainingly flaky spook-turned- survivalist Marvin (John Malkovich) and unlikely killing machine Victoria (Helen Mirren), whose prim manner belies her abilities with high powered arms.

The talented ensemble—which also includes Richard Dreyfuss and Ernest Borgnine in smaller roles—is clearly having a ball. And the updated Tracy-Hepburn relationship between Frank and Sarah is not only marked by some fine exchanges of mutual wit, but by a refreshing degree of physical restraint.

The intense clashes with which the humorous elements are interspersed, however—some involving dislocated limbs and severed fingers—place "RED" beyond the pale for all but mature viewers with a high tolerance for tumult.

The film contains frequent, largely bloodless violence, brief gruesome imagery, a couple of uses of profanity, at least one use of the F-word and some crude language. The Catholic News Service classification is A-III—adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG-13—parents strongly cautioned. Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13.

*****
John Mulderig is on the staff of Catholic News Service.


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Andrew Kim Taegon, Paul Chong Hasang and Companions: This first native Korean priest was the son of Korean converts. His father, Ignatius Kim, was martyred during the persecution of 1839 and was beatified in 1925. After Baptism at the age of 15, Andrew traveled 1,300 miles to the seminary in Macao, China. After six years he managed to return to his country through Manchuria. That same year he crossed the Yellow Sea to Shanghai and was ordained a priest. Back home again, he was assigned to arrange for more missionaries to enter by a water route that would elude the border patrol. He was arrested, tortured and finally beheaded at the Han River near Seoul, the capital. Paul Chong Hasang was a lay apostle and married man, aged 45. 
<p>Christianity came to Korea during the Japanese invasion in 1592 when some Koreans were baptized, probably by Christian Japanese soldiers. Evangelization was difficult because Korea refused all contact with the outside world except for bringing taxes to Beijing annually. On one of these occasions, around 1777, Christian literature obtained from Jesuits in China led educated Korean Christians to study. A home Church began. When a Chinese priest managed to enter secretly a dozen years later, he found 4,000 Catholics, none of whom had ever seen a priest. Seven years later there were 10,000 Catholics. Religious freedom came in 1883. </p><p>When Pope John Paul II visited Korea in 1984 he canonized, besides Andrew and Paul, 98 Koreans and three French missionaries who had been martyred between 1839 and 1867. Among them were bishops and priests, but for the most part they were lay persons: 47 women, 45 men. </p><p>Among the martyrs in 1839 was Columba Kim, an unmarried woman of 26. She was put in prison, pierced with hot tools and seared with burning coals. She and her sister Agnes were disrobed and kept for two days in a cell with condemned criminals, but were not molested. After Columba complained about the indignity, no more women were subjected to it. The two were beheaded. A boy of 13, Peter Ryou, had his flesh so badly torn that he could pull off pieces and throw them at the judges. He was killed by strangulation. Protase Chong, a 41-year-old noble, apostatized under torture and was freed. Later he came back, confessed his faith and was tortured to death. </p><p>Today, there are almost 5.1 million Catholics in Korea.</p> American Catholic Blog We never think of connecting violence with our tongues. But the first weapon, the most cruel weapon, is the tongue. Examine what part your tongue has played in creating peace or violence. We can really wound a person, we can kill a person, with our tongue.

 
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