It’s no mean feat trying to work out a favourite film of all time. Even for someone like me, who’s not a film buff, it’s a gargantuan task, not helped by the fact it can change depending on what mood I’m in. In the end I chose a film that for me has comedic value, a bit of romance and some good old fashioned action!
What is you favourite film?
I feel slightly like I’m letting the side down as the other editors have a much more highbrow film choice here, but for me, it has to be RED with Bruce Willis, Helen Mirren, Morgan Freeman and John Malkovich.
When, and where, was the first tim you saw this film? Was it a particularly memorable day/company/experience?
No, just a standard Sunday night film fest one wet Autumn evening.
Favourite character and why?
Victoria played by Helen Mirren. Helen Mirren is a fantastic actress, but this film slightly turns her standard tough, serious roles on their heads. While her character is still as tough as any you’re likely to see her play, there’s a fantastic humour about her in this film. She’s queen of the acerbic put down and icy glare which is teamed with a softness and protectiveness in the form of her affection for Frank (Bruce Willis). All this is bound up by her having been one of MI6’s top wet works operative and her merrily running round with a sniper rifle. The juxtaposition of all these character types works brilliantly.
The scene at the dockyard when Frank, Marvin (John Malkovich) and Sarah (Mary-Louise Parker) are trying to escape from the CIA. There are explosions and unrealistic escapes, particularly when Marvin shoots out a rocket propelled grenade with a hand gun. Alongside this there’s a parody of a Western with a close up of the eyes played to music typical of the genre. The whole scene has an over the top ridiculousness to it and is all the better and more amusing for it.
Shortly after Frank kidnaps Sarah they have a conversation where Frank says, “I was just hoping you’d be a little more understanding of the situation.” to which Sarah responds, “I was hoping not to get kidnapped. Or drugged. I was hoping you’d have *hair*. So it looks like none of our dreams are coming true at the moment.”. The dryness of her delivery always makes me laugh out loud.
Who would you like to be in the film?
Victoria. She’s just a great character. Fantastically funny and scary at the same time.
Why is it your favourite?
Mostly because I love action films so this one was always going to rate highly with me. I also love Bruce Willis in action films but this one is slightly different. It takes a standard Bruce Willis action role and gives him a vulnerability. There’s no wise cracks and he’s slightly goofy, the overall effect is highly amusing. But it still does the action element really well, there are enough explosions and shoot outs to keep any action fan happy. The film is also just good fun. Marvin’s acid induced paranoia make him ludicrous and funny; the cliches add to the laughs and the parody element rumbles along in the background providing constant amusement.
It’s just a great action movie, with a stellar cast and fantastic one liners.