If you were making a cocktail-hour crime film super shake, you would want to add all your favorite ingredients. Great cast, with Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman, Helen Mirren and Weeds-tastic Mary-Louise Parker for that all encompassing tweenie-twenty demographic. You would naturally add guns, explosions, car chases and fist-fight frippery. You would sprinkle in an abundance of one-liners,  ironic eyebrow raises and a twist of the unexpected: retired and extremely dangerous, (RED) protagonists who are not past it after all—honest. This movie has all the hallmarks of Hollywood focus group production, the kind of marketing mix that usually twists the life out of any good idea. Trouble is with this movie it works, even if the marvelous John Malkovich is reduced to a crazy as bananas facsimile of Howling Mad Murdoch from the ‘A’ Team. The film is based on the cult DC Comics novels by Warren Ellis and Cully Hamner. You should go see this movie on that basis alone. Extra Scotch for the sequel please!

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