Critic Consensus: This vengeance film leans heavily on attack-and-avenge scenarios but performances by Brian Cox's and Tom Sizemore's take the stink out of any weaker scripting.
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Critic Reviews for Red
The movie's escalating series of tit-for-tat revenge ploys becomes a bit tedious even at 95 minutes, but Cox and a rich (if not always well-served) supporting cast that includes Tom Sizemore, Amanda Plummer, and Robert Englund keep it more than watchable.
A final quarter sentimental streak clashes with the masochistic pleasure of watching middle America close ranks against a victim who can't even bark in his own defense.
What makes this movie worth seeing is the acting, which is superb throughout.
Audience Reviews for Red
Directed by Tryvge Allister Diesen, Billy Goat Pictures, 2008. Starring Brian Cox, Tom Sizemore, Kyle Ganner and Amanda Plummer.
Genre: Drama, Thriller
Question: Are you woken up by your four legged friend? Their face is right in your face sniffing, licking and begging you to get up. No matter how much of a morning person you are not, it gives you the biggest smile every time, right? That is exactly the opening scene in the movie Red (not to be confused with Red starring Bruce Willis). I was grinning from ear to ear because I have two dogs that wake me up that way. And let me tell you, I am NOT a morning person but smile every time this happens - even it is 6:00am.
So you are an animal lover. I got that. Now what would you do if someone killed your beloved animal right in front of you? I can tell you exactly what I would do but the police might come and put me in jail just for thinking it (What? I've seen Minority Report). Anyway, that was the impetus for what happens over the next 90 minutes or so in Red.
Now if you have followed my reviews for a while now, you know I have favorite actors that I hunt down and find what they are in. About six months ago I discovered Brian Cox in two independent movies (The Good Heart and The Escapist) and really enjoyed his performances in them. Last night when I went on Netflix the site suggested a movie with Tom Sizemore since I had just watched one of his a few nights ago (The Last Lullaby). It was Red and I noticed it starred Brian Cox. I hit play immediately! I started smiling at the sight of the dog and his owner, however, within a few minutes I was bawling like a baby.
I really try to not spoil any story for you on any film, but this story is about what one man does when teenagers shoot and kill his dog for no reason. This all happens within the first few minutes of the story, hence why I was crying. With that said, I am not going to tell you any more details about the story. The rest of Red chronicles the path of the man and what he simply wants from the teenage boys. Unfortunately, it spirals completely out of control.
I will admit this was not my favorite movie of Mr. Cox although he was fantastic in it. Plus, there was one scene, a monologue he gives, where you witness brilliance. It was obvious to me that he was a classically trained theatre actor but then again I studied theatre in college. However, in this particular scene you will be in awe. I was. See this movie for that performance alone.
As for the rest of the film it was a bit slow but it kept my interest. Everyone else performed admirably, although I had a feeling Mr. Sizemore wasn't at his best, health-wise, while making this film. You will recognize a lot of the actors in this movie but Brian Cox is the one to watch.
My favorite part: Well, that should be obvious.
My least favorite: That should be obvious, as well.
Length: 93 minutes
Rating: 5 out of 10
This movie is about an old man who goes fishing with his 14 year old best friend, Red (who is a dog). While they are fishing, three teenage boys attempt to rob him and end up killing his dog when they see he has no money on him. When the old man tries to seek justice for the murder of his beloved pet, he is told nothing can be done due to lack of evidence. The rest of the movie is about how the old man tries to get justice for his dog.
I thought the acting in this movie was really good, but I didn't like the movie at all. The pacing of the movie was painfully slow, and there was a lot of dialogue. In one scene, the old man goes on a long tangent about his dark family history. He tells a really long story, and it is really REALLY boring. I mean what he says is interesting I guess, but I would've rather seen a flashback. It's a movie not a book. I expect movies to show me things, not just tell me.
The movie starts off pretty good, but then it just spirals into an unrealistic shoot out. The old man's goal is simple. He wants the kids, who shot his dog then joked about it, in jail. He just wants them to learn their lesson. This becomes very hard when the kids' parents are stubborn and borderline psychopaths. When the parents *SPOILERS* turned crazy and tried to kill the old man for being persistent about seeking justice for his dog, the movie totally lost me. It was so strange and bizarre. All the parents needed to do was punish their son, but they did not. The old man was kind of creepy though. I mean he showed up at the people's houses and interrogated them. It was weird. The boy that killed his dog was a sociopath, and everyone knew that- it wasn't a secret. If the old man wanted to take the kid to court, he probably could have. I mean we see in the movie multiple occasions where the kid proves he's a total dick. The old man could've just gotten some witnesses to testify. The old man even had the shell of the bullet that came from the kid's gun (the same gun that killed the dog). No one else at the woods they were in saw the 3 boys there and could testify? ALSO, *SPOILER* when the kid was about to attack the old man with a baseball bat, a police officer was watching the ENTIRE thing! Why didn't the police officer intervene and arrest the kid? What kind of town is this where sociopaths run rampantly through the streets and crazy old men stalk young boys?
Okay...I digressed...a lot....
The main thing I hated about this movie was the overall dullness and anticlimactic events. It builds little to no suspense throughout the entire movie. Then at the very end everyone goes apeshit on each other's asses. It came out of nowhere and there was no motivation behind their actions. The movie acted like it wanted to be realistic, then it goes and does something like that. Totally unbelievable and really dumb. The acting was really convincing though for most of the characters. I just wish their was less dialogue. It was just SO incredibly boring. Hardly anything happened until the very last 20-30 minutes. It just seemed like the movie was finding any reason to avoid justice for the dog, you know? Just when they seem close, something happens that hinders their efforts. It seemed stupid because something could've been done, but the movie ignored that and made things overly complicated.
This is Brian Cox's other Red. Stumbled across this and I thought wow, this is the best acting Cox has ever done. For every act of cruelty against every animal ever, this is for the justice that needs to be done. Sometimes there is justice. The only real problem for me here was that I wondered how much back-story is too much. Would this movie have worked without all the time spent fleshing out the story of Cox's wife and children? I think so. And it would have made for a much tighter story. Still, I really think this is Cox at his best. I wonder what his next Red movie will be? : )
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