Classiest Comic Book Movie Ever

Not the best. Not the worst. Just the classiest — Helen Mirren (and Morgan Freeman and John Malkovich and Brian Cox and Richard Dreyfuss) can spruce up any pulp. As far as comic-book adaptations go, though, Red is a little closer to the bright side of so-so — somewhere between, let's say, Iron Man 2 and Ghost World on the patented Fanboy-oh-boyometer. Based on a Warren Ellis three-issue toss-off, Red barely acknowledges its roots. The original — a straight-ahead tale about a retired Company hit man named Frank Moses next on the CIA's to-do list because he's an embarrassing relic — was bloody and humorless, with Frank eventually storming Langley and gutting all comers. Its big-screen counterpart, written by the brothers who made a mockery of the graphic novel Whiteout (Jon and Erich Hoeber) and directed by the man who made The Time Traveler's Wife (Robert Schwentke), is all grins and giggles — a kid-friendly Kick-Ass... or, let's be honest, an AARP-friendly Kick-Ass. (Holy shit, there's Ernest Borgnine as a character called the Records Keeper!) It's messy, but hardly gory. Goofy? That's more like it.
Sat., Oct. 30, 6:45 p.m., 2010
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Robert Wilonsky
Contact: Robert Wilonsky