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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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Alphonsus Rodriguez: Tragedy and challenge beset today’s saint early in life, but Alphonsus Rodriguez found happiness and contentment through simple service and prayer. 
<p>Born in Spain in 1533, Alphonsus inherited the family textile business at 23. Within the space of three years, his wife, daughter and mother died; meanwhile, business was poor. Alphonsus stepped back and reassessed his life. He sold the business and, with his young son, moved into his sisters’ home. There he learned the discipline of prayer and meditation. </p><p>Years later, at the death of his son, Alphonsus, almost 40 by then, sought to join the Jesuits. He was not helped by his poor education. He applied twice before being admitted. For 45 years he served as doorkeeper at the Jesuits’ college in Majorca. When not at his post, he was almost always at prayer, though he often encountered difficulties and temptations. </p><p>His holiness and prayerfulness attracted many to him, including St. Peter Claver, then a Jesuit seminarian. Alphonsus’s life as doorkeeper may have been humdrum, but he caught the attention of poet and fellow-Jesuit Gerard Manley Hopkins, who made him the subject of one of his poems. </p><p>Alphonsus died in 1617. He is the patron saint of Majorca.</p> American Catholic Blog People mess up, and it’s especially hard to watch as our children and other young people go down paths we know are likely to lead to heartbreak. Providing gentle guidance when it’s needed, and love even when that guidance isn’t followed, helps them to start fresh.

 
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