For the most part, 'Red' is an utter joy of an action movie. It's not game-changing, nor particularly new, but it gives some older and beloved folks a chance to have fun on-screen, and in turn, offer laughs, shoot-outs and hijinks for the viewer. The film has life and spice, and wonderfully -- for the most part -- loves its female characters. Mary-Louise Parker shows that she should be in a hell of a lot more action movies with her take on Sarah, an innocent government worker who gets entangled in the fray, and Helen Mirren's Victoria is pitch-perfect as an old pro who can wield a gun just as easily as a teapot.
The basic theme isn't so much the old spy-vs-spy standard, but rather a world where everyone gets a taste of the action -- old and young, man and woman. And, for the most part, it succeeds -- that is, until the comedy belly flops into the action water with lazy abandon.