Great cast add force to actioner

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RED Directed by Robert Schwentke Starring Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman, John Malkovich, Helen Mirren, Mary-Louise Parker Distributed by Speedy Video Distributors

WHO knew that classy actress Helen Mirren could handle a machine gun and look great doing it? That is one of the biggest attractions in this heavy action movie.

Red revolves around retired CIA agents Frank Moses (Bruce Willis), Joe Matheson (Morgan Freeman), Marvin Boggs (John Malkovich) and Victoria (Mirren).

Their peaceful but boring lives are interrupted when they are framed for a high-tech assassination. Frank reassembles his former team to track down their enemy. Prior to the incident, Frank frequently talks to his case worker Sarah (Mary-Louise Parker), who unwittingly gets involved in the problem as she tags along with Frank to settle it.

The biggest attraction in the film is the cast director Robert Schwentke lined up. Willis, Freeman and Malkovich have great chemistry on-screen.

Coupled with Mirren and Parker, they make a great team, partly thanks to the fact that the two women can pack a punch, almost as good as the guys.

The high-adrenaline plot, heavy weaponry and tonnes of action, are well executed. The story focuses on Frank’s determination to find out why they are targeted. It could have been tighter, but the mistakes are forgivable.

Surprisingly, this action film is hilarious to boot, thanks to Marvin. Literally crazy, he provides viewers with lots of comic relief — Malkovich does a great job portraying him.

It is too bad that Freeman’s character isn’t as well-developed as the others. Instead, Schwentke decided to focus more on the relationship between Frank and Sarah.

The cast members complement each other visually and in terms of characterisation. Their camaraderie is obvious to viewers.

RENDITION

Directed by Gavin Hood
Starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Reese Witherspoon, Peter Sarsgaard, Omar Metwally, Meryl Streep
Directributed by Speedy Video Distributors

EGYPTIAN Anwar El-Ibrahimi (Omar Metwally) is married to American Isabella Fields (Reese Witherspoon) and has been living in the US for years.

A terrorist bombing in a foreign country kills an American envoy and Anwar is believed to be part of it. Returning to the US from a conference in South Africa, he is captured by American officials and brutally interrogated.

A rookie CIA operative is tasked with monitoring the interrogation but is doubtful of Anwar’s involvement.

Meanwhile, the heavily pregnant Isabella is trying her hardest to find him but her pleas fall on deaf ears. Her dedication to her husband is endearing to watch.

Director Gavin Hood was partly inspired by the documentary Outlawed, about men who were accused of terrorism but don’t get to explain themselves.

Rendition is a story of how a man is broken down by US laws. It is a heavy thriller that keeps you at the edge of your seat. As viewers, you can’t help feeling sorry for Anwar but at the same time, you wonder if he is the culprit.

Metwally is outstanding as Anwar while Witherspoon and Meryl Streep are memorable too.

The DVD comes with an audio commentary with Hood, the documentary Outlawed, a behind-the-scenes clip titled Intersections: The Making Of Rendition, five deleted scenes and an alternate ending.

 

 


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