In a sea of disappointing box office performances by comics book movies — from Kick-Ass to The Losers to Scott Pilgrim VS. The WorldRed is shaping up to be the potential surprise action-comedy hit of the year.

Based loosely on a DC Vertico comic book by the venerable Warren Ellis, Red (Retired Extremely Dangerous) sees a slew of retired CIA agents (Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman, Helen Mirren, and John Malkovich) in their twilight years, fighting to survive assassination from their own government. It’s a tale of aged versus young, old versus new, retired versus currently employed, and it’s directed by that guy who made The Time Traveler’s Wife (Yes!!).

After a hilariously fun Red trailer was released stateside back in June, the film’s stock shot way up on the Internet. The general sentiment was, “Thank heavens Bruce Willis is back making action films, where he belongs.” in addition to, “Holy crap, Helen Mirren is an attractive ass-kicking older woman.”

Yesterday, the international trailer was released to similar fanfare. Check it out:

Everybody seems to really be on their game here — the aforementioned cast plus Carl Urban, Mary-Louise Parker, Ernest Borgnine (still alive, somehow), Richard Dreyfus (who’s having a banner year, what with this and Pirahna 3D), and Brian Cox, amongst others.

That said, the one thing that bothers me in the trailer is the shot of Bruce Willis casually stepping out of the spinning police car, Chinese fire drill-style, to shoot at the assassins in hot pursuit. The effects are way off because my eyes aren’t buying it. Fortunately, director Robert Schwentke has until October 15, when the movie’s released, to fix it.

Speaking of Brian Cox, Warren Ellis posted an image from Red featuring the original Hannibal Lecter, yet to be seen in either of the trailers, as an aging member of the Russian Mafia.

Additionally, Ellis wrote the following to accompany the picture:

Brian Cox. I got to see footage from his first scene with Mr Willis in Toronto. They just locked a camera off on him and he did about five minutes of dialogue in a single take. This still seems to sum it up nicely.

Of course, as with much of the film, his character didn’t exist in the book. But Ivan Simanov does tie into the book’s themes: retired and distrusted by those who came after, and very much both the threat and the wreckage of the 20th Century.

Anyway, I’m posting this because they haven’t really released any of Mr Cox’s work on the film yet. And also, you know, vodka + knife + possible Russian Mafiya smoking jacket = good times tonight.

Hey, if Warren Ellis is saying good things about the movie, I’ll be seeing it in theaters opening night. The man, much like Abraham Lincoln, cannot lie.

Poster via HeyUGuys

Image via Warren Ellis