Frank Moses(Bruce Willis) is a retiree who lives alone in a quiet neighborhood. He often talks on the phone with Sarah(Marie-Louise Parker), a customer service agent living in Kansas City and working for the pension office. Sarah does not like her stationary job and often dreams of an adventurous life with spies, chases and traveling. So far, Frank and Sarah have not met in person. Knowing her interests in romantic novels, Frank ends up reading the same novels as Sarah.
One night, Frank’s house is broken into by armed men. Frank effortlessly kills all of them. Then he travels to Kansas City to pick up Sarah as he fears her life is also in danger. When Sarah gets back home from a dinner date, she is surprised to see Frank in her house. Sarah is suspicious of Frank’s mental stability and is not ready to listen to Frank’s arguments. So, Frank abducts her and travels to an undisclosed location. During the journey, Frank confesses about his true nature of job. He had retired from CIA.
Now, Frank and Sarah embarks on an adventure, traveling to many cities in the US and meeting some of the former colleagues of Frank – Joe Black(Morgan Freeman), Marvin Boggs(John Malkovich) and Victoria(Helen Mirren). Meanwhile, the CIA has assigned William Cooper(Karl Urban) to track Frank and Sarah. In order to stay one step ahead of the hunter, Frank has to make peace with his onetime enemy Ivan Simanov(Brian Cox) who is a Russian. The rest of the story tells us why CIA is after Frank and how Frank outwits them.
This action movie, which is inspired by the eponymous comic book series, is directed by Robert Schwentke. Despite having a dream cast, Robert fails in providing an entertaining watch. The movie slows down during the hunt due to the conversations and speeds up during the action scenes. The action pieces are scattered around the movies and are very few.
Bruce Willis as Frank Moses has nothing to offer. Morgan Freeman’s Joe Black fails to evoke any emotion in the viewer. John Malkovich’s Marvin Boggs is funny. But we have seen similar eccentric roles in John’s career before. Helen Mirren as Victoria is excellent. Who would have thought the dame to handle a sniper rifle and a machine gun? Yet, she gracefully handles them both; killing opponents without much effort. Helen in a white dress and a black boots firing an automatic weapon paints a pretty picture. Her best lines are already in the movie trailers. But, it is still fun to watch her explain what she does for a living to Sarah in one simple sentence. Mary-Louise Parker evokes laughter in the way she reacts to the veterans. Karl Urban as William Cooper impresses despite having a miniscule role. Devoid of his customary facial hair and dressed in business suits, he proves that he can play the part perfectly while looking the part. Ernest Borgnine features in the a short role as the Records keeper and brings in a lot of nostalgia for an avid movie buff.
Watch it on DVD for the dream cast. Brace yourself for disappointment.