Red (2010)

Rating: ★★☆☆☆ 

This movie was neither good nor bad on the whole, but it’s difficult to recommend it if only because Bruce Willis phoned his performance in and then some. Also, he looks like a turtle.

This movie does try to have fun with the concept, but it’s a little bit difficult to buy this collection of senior citizens as retired bad asses. There’s something vaguely uncomfortable about watching it, to be honest.

I suppose the concept, itself, is something that works better as comic book entertainment. None of these characters can be taken seriously as an actual human being.

And just to note it, there was a really weird transition in the film just before the fight scene between Bruce Willis and Karl Urban–it felt as though a scene got dropped. I’m not exaggerating when I say that it was strikingly shoddy and I have no idea why it was released that way.

Unstoppable (2010)

Rating: ★★★½☆ 

Tony Scott directs, Denzel Washington and Chris Pine’s awesomely pointy chin star. It’s about a runaway train carrying toxic cargo and headed for a population hub, where it will derail and mess some shit up. Washington and Pine attempt to chase it down and bring it to a stop.

There’s nothing to dislike about this film apart from, perhaps, that there isn’t a whole lot to it. But why does there need to be? It’s a taut thriller, and Tony Scott does those well. Simple in concept, but with two strong leads, good support from Rosario Dawson, and adept, stylistic direction and editing.

Why did Tony Scott direct two train movies in a row? I don’t know. I didn’t see The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3. Perhaps I should. The man does a good train movie.

Megamind (2010)

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

I liked this one a lot more than I thought I would. I found it appealing right from the start, with the clever twist on the Kryptonian origin story, and the resulting rivalry between Megamind and Metro Man.

Will Ferrell is surprisingly restrained in the roll considering he’s often more cartoonish when he’s not actually playing a cartoon. But I enjoyed his performance. The impish quality to his voice matched well with the visual design for Megamind, which in an odd way kind of reminded me of a young Bill Murray.

The character was charming, the story, while predictable, never felt like a cliche, and Tina Fey is, you know, actually a good actress on top of being a very funny lady.

It all works, I think. The jokes click, the animation is top notch, and the script functions on a level that ensures there’s more than a little something for the adults in the room. I give it credit, as well, for never dipping down into the schmaltz. Megamind is a film that’s above that sort of pandering, and I found that refreshing.

Second Opinions