Finally tapping into the coveted “Action Movie-Goers Ages 55-64” demographic is RED, the first movie to fully recognize that the bad-ass old guy is the most bad-ass bad-ass possible. For that matter, I think I am not exaggerating when I say that, by and large, the older the practitioner, the more raw the feat. I dare you to name one thing that’s not raw as hell when done by a dude or lady of years. Doing push-ups. Chopping firewood. Yelling at Koreans. Speaking to a nation. Chugging a beer. Even things like posing nude, because while it may not jingle your jangle to see wisdom in the buff, you’ve got to admit that it takes some enormous balls, so to speak.
Speaking of posing nude, Helen Mirren’s in this movie (the irony of her four SAG awards is lost on her, I think), alongside Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman, and John Malkovich, all reti(RED) CIA operatives. So they spend the whole movie in retirement? That sounds pretty boring! No, you goddamn idiot, they’ve got to get the team back together for one last job. Even rehashing ti(RED) movie clichés is more bad-ass when old people do it.
— At least one Viagra joke.
— That someone is getting too old for this shit.
— An extremely shoehorned-in Die Hard reference.
— The audience to get pretty uncomfortable with the age gap between Bruce Willis and Mary-Louise Parker.
— Some goofs and gambols from the illustrious John Malkovich.
— A fabulously come-hither look from Bruce Willis.
No fronting, I’m pretty on board with RED. There are two key reasons for this. The first is the exchange at the end of the trailer, where Bruce Willis has Karl Urban in a leg-lock. Bruce is all, “Cordeski (sp) trained you?” and Karl’s all, “Yeah,” and he clearly doesn’t know what’s up, and then Bruce is all, “I trained Kordesky (sp),” right before he breaks Karl’s goddamn neck with his goddamn legs. This is some Mr. Miyagi shit right here. This is like Bruce Wayne in Batman Beyond level bad-ass. We’re looking at John Locke, Dumbledore, and Edward James Olmos epitomized in this single onomatopoeic moment. Christ alive, I’m getting testosterone poisoning. Seriously, please, somebody help me.
THREE STARS DUE TO I MEAN, WHAT COULD POSSIBLY BE GOING ON HERE???!!
CHAIN LETTER [\(Link\)](http://trailers.apple.com/trailers/independent/chainletter/)
You cannot imagine how elated I was the first time chains flashed across the screen in the trailer for Chain Letter. Oh my god, I thought, They think we don’t know what a chain is. Then it turns out that the killer actually kills people using chains, which is even better, because in a movie where a psychopath sends chain letters and then kills people with chains, anything is possible! Maybe he escaped from a chain gang! Maybe he’s actually the calculus teacher, and is teaching them about the chain rule, or perhaps the psychology teacher, and is teaching them about chaining, or maybe even the biology teacher, and is teaching them about the electron transport chain! Maybe he wears chain mail all the time! Maybe the entire soundtrack is composed by Alice in Chains! Could he even be played by Lon Chaney? Of course not! Lon Cheney is dead! Anything is possible!
At one point, some woman looks at some chains and says, “These chains don’t belong here!” I cannot think of many places that someone would look at and say, “These chains belong here.” Factories, like those featured in the Terminator films. The slave holds of Spanish galleons. Tires, but only some of the time. Swinging above the head of a surly motorcycling gentleman. Really, that’s all I could think of, but let’s not forget, anything is possible!
The trailer overflows with the heady promise of modern technology. Cell phones! Computers! Actors pretending to play Wii! Will the film be a scathing satire of our growing societal addiction to constant communication and connection afforded by the ubiquity of iPhones and blanket Wi-Fi, to the point that we become distinctly uncomfortable going even an hour without access to Facebook or text messages? Of course not! Lon Cheney is dead! Anything is possible!
Thank God there are black people and nerds in the trailer, so we can rest easy with the knowledge that they will die and the earnestly attractive female lead will survive. That said, I am fairly confident of this outcome!
TWO STARS DUE TO ONE MISSED CALL, WHEN A STRANGER CALLS, PULSE, AND THE RING CALLED AND THEY WANT THEIR PLOT BACK, BUT ALSO YOU ARE GOING TO DIE FAIRLY SOON, ON ACCOUNT OF THAT PHONE CALL.
Like a solitary wounded African elephant staggering across the savannah, M. Night Shyamalan’s career continues to lumber heedlessly onward, now and again pausing to take a tremendous dump, euphemistically called a “movie,” on the desiccated and dusty ground, before eventually dying unceremoniously in a colossal heap. The latest such enormous turd dropped on the road to the grave is called Devil. To get a sense of what we’re working with here, this is what the official website says about the plot: “In the film, a group of people is trapped in the elevator, and one of them is the devil.”
Well. Let’s unpack that a little bit.
We’re presented with five (5) characters. They are, in order of appearance, Sexy Scarf Lady, Black-Attack, Young Besuited Gentleman, Red Herring, and Older Lady Who Would Be Very Scary Possessed. From this, we know some things right off the bat:
1. It cannot be Black-Attack who is the devil. He has to die. Also, having the black guy be the devil is often considered gauche.
2. It cannot be Sexy Scarf Lady who is the devil. She also has to die, but not before screaming like a goat and crawling around with her titties all a-wagglin’.
3. It cannot be Red Herring who is the devil, because he is a red herring.
4. It could be Young Besuited Gentleman, because he is the most bland of all, and what a twist!
5. It could be Older Lady Who Would Be Very Scary Possessed. Boy, how scary would it be if her mouth opened up way wide and a great big bunch o’ bees flew out or something. Can you imagine?
Or there’s the other option, probably the most plausible, which is that the evil one is the goddamn mummy.
Here are some potential twists: It is actually 9/11 and the elevator is in the twin towers. Everyone is the devil. Someone’s arm is the devil, but the rest of them is normal. Devil is a critical and commercial success. There is no fourth floor… in fact, there hasn’t been one for over forty (40) years! It’s really actually pretty hard to come up with a twist for this. Either it concerns the characters, in which case good luck getting me to care, M. Night, or it concerns the elevator, in which case, what?, or it concerns the entire situation, in which case you can almost guarantee left field is going to come into play. Whoever wins, we lose!
True story: When I was in first grade, I told a friend of mine about a Goosebumps book I claimed to have read where a boy is stuck in a bathroom stall. In the book, I said, the boy pulls and pushes and kicks the door and screams for help. There is nobody nearby, though, for some reason, and nobody came to help him. Finally, when he was about to give up and die, there, on the toilet, he notices that the door is locked. He unlocks it and walks out. I set the bar for Devil a few notches below my story.
ZERO STARS DUE TO GREAT JOB, DIRECTOR, YOU FINALLY GET TO MAKE A MOVIE WITH SHOTS WHERE SOME CHARACTERS ARE IN THE FOREGROUND AND OTHERS ARE SHOWN IN A MIRROR, THEREBY ALLOWING YOU TO FINISH YOUR FIRST YEAR OF FILM SCHOOL.