Retired Extremely Christmassy

Next up on “Colin’s List of sort-of Christmas Movies” is RED, the 2010 action flick starring Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman, John Malkovich and Helen Mirren. They all play retired CIA agents or some such who have put away their guns and settled down. Willis plays Frank Moses, who was something of a legend in his heyday as a CIA assassin.

He lives a quiet if routine existence in his sparsely decorated suburban home, with his only regular contact being his pension agent (representative? I don’t know the right word here) played very sweetly by Mary-Louise Parker. He tears up his pension checks when he gets them in the mail just so he can call and talk to her.

One day when he is taking out the trash one of his neighbors waves to him and says hi. In the process of waving back he looks around his neighborhood and realizes that every house on the block is festooned with Christmas decorations- lights, trees, snowmen, Santas, wreaths, reindeer, the works. Every house on the block, that is… except his. Realizing that this simply won’t do, he sets up some decorations of his own. No more than Frosty, a wreath, and some reindeer, but hey, it’s better than nothing.

But wouldn’t you know it, some bad dudes dressed in black show up that very night and shoot the living crap out of his house. Seriously, there’s a solid thirty-five seconds of nonstop machine-gun fire. It rivals the scene in Predator where Arnie and company shoot the living hell out of the jungle. Frosty and Rudolph get completely shredded. It’s pretty awesome. And of course, Bruce Willis being Bruce Willis, he kills the bad guys and sets off on his adventures that will take up the rest of the movie.

And that’s pretty much it for Christmas stuff in this movie, to be honest. It’s not as Christmassy as certain other Christmas movies Bruce Willis has been in (more on that later) but it’s a fun flick, and I remember it as being one of the more enjoyable experiences I’ve had recently of seeing a movie in a theater with other people. There was uproarious laughter in several scenes, and I got the impression that everyone was really enjoying themselves. It was a fun reminder that movies are meant to be shared, and it is a movie that I still enjoy.

As a side note, it occurred to me while I was writing this that it might seem callous of me to write a post talking about how awesome sustained machine-gun fire is in movies in the wake of the horrific school shooting in Connecticut last week. In no way do I mean any disrespect to anyone. I was planning on writing about Christmas in this movie anyway, the timing is unfortunate though. I’m not going to get into the subject of violence in movies vs. violence in real life, since that’s a discussion best had elsewhere. All I want is to assure people that I am not trying to make light of a horrific and tragic event. I have always been a firm believer in the ability of laughter and humor to help ease people’s burdens and make people feel better, which is all I’m trying to do here. I don’t know, maybe I made a mistake bringing this up at all, maybe no one except me even thought of this. Regardless, all I really want to do is make people smile, and maybe think a little sometimes, so if I have succeeded in that then I am happy.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got a movie to watch.

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