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Red

Red

What She said:

She

To what lengths would you go for the sake of revenge?  Red explores that theme through the eyes of Avery Ludlow, a 70-something year old man who sees his dog, Red, brutally murdered by three teenagers in a brazen robbery attempt.  The kids have no respect for life, and actually think their act is funny, and this is more than Avery can bear.  Thus, Avery sets out on a quest for justice, seeking to expose the three hoodlums, get them to admit to their crime, and issue to him a heartfelt apology.  Unfortunately, these teenagers are a bunch of shameless liars who don’t give a crap about Avery or his beloved pet.  And that’s what really sets Avery off…

Avery is played by veteran supporting actor, Brian Cox.  He does a good job of capturing the character’s grief and anger as he morphs from a seemingly mild-mannered man into someone who is out for vengeance.  Avery explores every option available to him to prosecute the boys for their crimes, including involving the media.  There seems to be a minor romantic subplot involving Avery and a TV news reporter, Carrie.  However, it’s best just to ignore that, since it adds no value to the movie. 

The movie has the look of something that’s made-for-TV.  But don’t be fooled; it’s much better than that.  There’s some depth to the storyline, as you learn more about Avery’s past.  Some of it seems a bit contrived, especially when it comes to the rivalry that blossoms between Avery, the boys, and Michael McCormack (Tom Sizemore), the father of two of the boys.  That said, I’ve met some pretty out-there people, and so it’s not entirely inconceivable.  For a movie that from the outset seems a little low budget, all the actors, including the teenagers, put in pretty good performances.  I honestly found the film pretty interesting, and, at times, fairly thrilling. 

I looked this one up online, and it appears as though it made approximately $4,000 in theaters.  I guess that explains why I’d never heard of it before.  Anyway, it’s actually a pretty decent movie, and worth a viewing if you ever come across it.

Thumbs up.

What he said:

He

Things are about to get confusing. Some of you might be thinking of the 2010 action/comedy (review here) starring Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman, and several other veteran actors. One of those veteran actors was Brian Cox; who is also in this Red as well. This Red is an old man whose dog is murdered by local troublemaker.

Avery Ludlow (Brian Cox) is a quiet old man who sticks to himself. He owns a small business, likes fishing, and enjoys the company of his dog Red. Well, he doesn’t just enjoy the company of his dog, but cherishes it. The dog is his best friend. So when Danny McCormack (Kyle Gallner) murders his friends, Avery wants justice. The only problem is nobody really seems to give a damn about it. The authorities generally ignore his please. To make it worse, Danny seems to get off on the fact that he’s getting away with this and begins to harass Avery when he goes to the media.

This movie touches on a few very relatable and real issues.

How often do you hear about an issue between neighbors that spirals out of control and find yourself wondering if this would have happened if the authorities had simply gotten involved in the first place?

And why do we continually treat animal cruelty as if it’s no big deal? You see it on the news on a weekly basis. Who says human life carries more value than non-human life? What is that based on exactly? Because we’re smarter? If we’re so much better than some of these other species, why do some of us torture the supposedly less valuable lives for fun? What about that says, “Yes, we’re better than they are”?

This movie felt a little “made for TV” at times, but it didn’t detract from the quality. It just felt a little smaller and more simple than other movies. I didn’t mind it like I did with Happy Accidents (review here).

Rating: Thumbs up.

This movie review was written for your reading pleasure on September 5, 2012.