RED (2010)

The director or this spy-thriller, Robert Schwentke, managed to unite quite a few big Hollywood names in this movie: Bruce Willis, John Malkovich, Morgan Freeman, and Helen Mirren all play former government agents. So expect a lot of thrill, a lot of action, many guns, and big fun in this adaptation of the cult D.C. Comics graphic novels by Warren Ellis and Cully Hamner.

A retired CIA agent, Frank Moses (Bruce Willis), finds his peaceful (but quite boring) retirement disturbed when his suburban house is destroyed by masked assassins. The secrets he knows made him CIA target. After this incident, he jumps back into the world of danger together with Pension Department employee Sarah (Mary-Louis Parker). Finding out that his file lies with the RED. or Retired Extremely Dangerous section in the CIA Headquarters he contacts his former colleagues. Once again, they unite in an impossible mission to stop the operation and rescue the VP, Stanton, from being killed by his own people.

The filming began on January 18, 2010 in Toronto. RED was shot here for nine weeks. Aside from a few scenes shot in New Orleans all the locations are in the GTA (cities such as Brampton, Cambridge, and Mississauga were included) and in the Showline Studios in Toronto, even though the movie claims to have visited New York, Washington, D.C. and Chicago. A Classic!

Watch the main man Mr. Bruce Willis talk about being retired and extremely dangerous:

Movie Trivia:

  • The film opens with scenes of retired Bruce Willis living in the boring suburbs of Cleveland. But look closer and you will recognize that it's actually not Cleveland but the houses of the Downsview Park neighbourhood. His peaceful life falls apart when his house gets attacked and he finds himself in the gunfire once again! The police received several phone calls reporting machine gun fire in the area after local residents mistook the movie's gunshot effects for the real thing.
  • Frank Moses' birthdate is March 19th, 1955, which is Bruce Willis' real birth date.
  • Karl Urban playing CIA operative Cooper nicked Bruce Willis with the cup he throws at him in their fistfight scene because he threw it faster than Willis expected. You can actually see the slight look of surprise on Willis's face in the scene.
  • One of the easily recognizable city locations is the Fairmont Hotel and its interior, where they shot scenes in the ballroom (the election headquarters for Vice President Stanton) and in the lobby, later we can clearly see the hotel's façade. Although they're trying to sell it as Chicago, it's clearly Toronto. Why so sure? Just look at the festive Christmas decorations along our very own Front Street.
  • The bad guy of this movie is Richard Dreyfuss, who resides at his stunning mansion. It's the estate at Cruickston Park established in 1858 that is located in Cambridge. Its shiny white real-estate counterpart is the B&B in Niagara-on-the-Lake, hosting Helen Mirren.
  • In the scene where John Malkovich walks with a bomb attached to his chest, he passes Toronto Dominion Centre on 66 Wellington Street West. The Royal Bank tower across the street makes an appearance if you pay a little extra attention.
  • Another popular location for movies with agents and villains and a lot of car chases is underground parking lots. this one is the Toronto Parking Authority Parking Garage at 2 Church Street.
  • Meryl Streep was considered for the role of Victoria.
  • A little test for all busy students; doesn't the "NYC" campus library look a little bit too much like our Toronto Reference Library? Correct! Another fake NYC location is Chinatown, but all the hustle and bustle makes for a convincing New York.
  • Production didn't have to move much from New York City to Washington, D.C. Actually, both locations were filmed in Toronto. Proof is the City Hall towers in the background of the Russian Embassy (located on University Avenue).

Spoiler Alert:

  • Many of the thrilling scenes between the good and the bad guys take place in abandoned locations, far away from any possible witnesses. In the movie finale, a perfect spot for shooting was the Hearn Generating Station.


Filming Locations Map

View RED (2010) - Filming Locations in Toronto in a larger map

More Information

RED on IMDB and Rotten Tomatoes

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