Saturday, November 20, 2021

Ida Red Review: A Strong Start That Quickly Stalls

Release date: November 5, 2021
Running time: 111 minutes
Written and Directed By: Josh Swab
Starring: Josh Hartnett, Sofia Hublitz, William Forsythe, Deborah Ann Woll, Frank Grillo, and Academy Award winning actress Melissa Leo

Crime boss Ida "Red" Walker (Oscar® winner Melissa Leo*) turns to her son, Wyatt (Josh Hartnett), to pull off one last heist to get out of prison. But with the FBI closing in, Wyatt must choose between family and freedom in this high-octane thriller.

Ida Red will get your attention right off the bat with an exciting opening and a stellar cast.  I really loved seeing Josh Hartnett and Frank Grillo in this film, and combined with the rest of the cast you have the makings of an exciting experience.  The opening scene gets this movie going with a bang and gives the viewer instant insight into the way that these brothers live.  And the brothers are the highlight of this movie.  Frank Grillo was amazing with a strange combination of unpredictability and charisma that made his character so fun to watch.  I was always holding my breath when he was on screen because I wasn't sure what he would do, but I loved every second of it.  And it was great to see Josh Hartnett back on the big screen opposite Grillo; his character was the perfect foil to Grillo's unpredictable, volatile persona.   Additionally, Ida Red has some very good music that sets the stage for this story to unfold.  It heightens the drama and action when needed, keeping the viewer invested in what is happening.  The music has a good mix of country and blues tones to set the stage and then some more tense music when jobs are happening.

But although Ida Red starts with a bang, it quickly grinds to a halt.  The story develops slowly as this family tries to figure out a way to get to their objective, but what started with a high energy, high tension encounter slowly turns into a drama with little action.  I kept wondering what would happen next and quickly lost the momentum that the opening gave.  There were glimpses after it but nothing that approached that opening scene.  And there is a large action sequence towards the end of the film that was disappointing.  The CG used made the fight look very unrealistic, and it just did not have the care and precision that was evident in earlier parts of the film.  And the story of the overall movie just does not progress quickly enough and with enough purpose.  I sat there wondering when it would pick up but it just seemed to be idling. 

Ida Red has an all star cast and a high tension start, but then quickly turns inconsistent as the slow story and questionable effects cause this film to stall. 

Rent it.

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Ida Red is available in theaters, digitally, and on demand on November 5, 2021.  For showtimes, click here.

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