Monday, November 01, 2010

old and kicking

Old geezer fantasies are a classic recipe for Hollywood.  The last two Indiana Jones flicks being perfect examples -- especially, Kingdom of the Numbskulls, or whatever it was titled.

To avoid the few children that come begging for candy on Halloween, I headed off to the movies on Sunday night.  And saw one of the best geezer fantasies I have seen in some time.

The best of those films usually involves an older man retired from some physical activity, who returns to his old job and shows up all the young pups.  Sometimes, he even gets to indulge in the pornography fantasy of winning over the much-younger woman.

Red has it all.  And does it well.

Bruce Willis is a retired Black Ops agent, whose bleak suburban life is spiced up by talking with a young government clerk, Mary-Louise Parker, about his lost pension check.  A check he destroys monthly merely to continue the flirting.

All of that changes when an assassination squad tries to bump him off.  The plot goes on a roller coaster spin where Willis kidnaps Parker and joins forces with Morgan Freeman (who trots out his noble Mandela for us), John Malkovich (who can play loony and paranoid with the best), and Helen Mirren (imagine Elizabeth II as Annie Oakley).

Willis's old gang -- and his new love interest, Parker -- then take on the entire power structure of the United States to do The Right Thing.  What that Thing is doesn't really matter.  It is the fact that old people are doing it -- and doing it well.

Watching Bruce Willis pummel a twenty-something agent in an old-fashioned bar fight is enough to get the Geritol Set's blood rushing.

But this isn't all fantasy.  Three years ago, several Americans on a cruise were visiting Costa Rica.  Three robbers accosted them and demanded their valuables.  An American, in his 70s, put one of the robbers in a head lock and broke the robber's clavicle.  The two other robbers fled.  The injured man died.

I remember when that story appeared in the newspapers.  The guy who defended his fellow cruisers was an immediate hero.  To no one's surprise he was a retired Marine.  My Marine friends like to point out: "Once a Marine, always a Marine."

Red is a fantasy.  But it has a germ of truth in it.  Many of us may be retired, but we are not gone.

And we have a lot of good years to offer.  Just not in our old jobs.  


Michael Dickson said...

I love Bruce Willis. Steven Seagal and Chuck Norris too. And Mary-Louise Parker, though for other reasons, her being so cute and all.

As for being retired, when are you going to give it a try?

Steve Cotton said...

I have four more days in harness. Then I head to Mexico on 10 November. My pull date is nigh.

Mike Nickell and Cynthia Johnson said...

Mike is a Marine. Notice how I said is? Semper Fi!

Steve Cotton said...

Cynthia -- I remember those Marine stories while we were dining at Newport Bay -- before I headed south the first time.

Tancho said...

Good movie, downloaded it today and watched it...and it had a decent ending.
Amazing what you can get on the net...
Only problem is watching it on a laptop leaves a little to be desired.

Marilyn said...

Another good review! I saw the movie also to avoid the kiddies. I love the little ones but the big kids are too much. Ernie Borgnine,(sp?) was great to see.
So few of the old MOVIE STARS left, I get very nostalgic when it comes to older film and that art form.
John Malkovich is one of my favs. Great character actor.
Just as women become invisible in their later years, men are considered over the hill. I say poop to that!

norm said...

Last summer I had a run in with the son of a local Capo. His girlfriend asked me to play pool, I said no but the bartender said she was OK so I started playing pool. The young man comes in and gets in my face, up close and personal. I still had the stick in my hand... But having been to the dance before, I set the stick on the table, a bulb went off in the lad's head-this was not going to end well for him. He got back out of bomb range, grabbed his girlfriend's arm and hit the door. Bartender put his 12 away, my buds put their pistols away, we all went home to bed instead of a night at the station. And no, she was not OK.

Unknown said...

You old guys are dangerous. I didn't know you could die from a broken colar bone.