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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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Ludovico of Casoria: Born in Casoria (near Naples), Arcangelo Palmentieri was a cabinet-maker before entering the Friars Minor in 1832, taking the name Ludovico. After his ordination five years later, he taught chemistry, physics and mathematics to younger members of his province for several years. 
<p>In 1847 he had a mystical experience which he later described as a cleansing. After that he dedicated his life to the poor and the infirm, establishing a dispensary for the poor, two schools for African children, an institute for the children of nobility, as well as an institution for orphans, the deaf and the speechless, and other institutes for the blind, elderly and for travelers. In addition to an infirmary for friars of his province, he began charitable institutes in Naples, Florence and Assisi. He once said, "Christ’s love has wounded my heart." This love prompted him to great acts of charity.
</p><p>To help continue these works of mercy, in 1859 he established the Gray Brothers, a religious community composed of men who formerly belonged to the Secular Franciscan Order. Three years later he founded the Gray Sisters of St. Elizabeth for the same purpose.
</p><p>Toward the beginning of his final, nine-year illness, Ludovico wrote a spiritual testament which described faith as "light in the darkness, help in sickness, blessing in tribulations, paradise in the crucifixion and life amid death." The local work for his beatification began within five months of Ludovico’s death. He was beatified in 1993.</p> American Catholic Blog Father, there are so many times when I attempt to do something good, and disturbing situations arise, as if someone or some power is trying to stop me. Give me the grace never to be afraid or avoid doing good for fear of Satan. In Jesus's name, Father, I ask for this grace, Amen.


 
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