'Ida Red' Review: Paramount Movies' thriller fails to thrill in any way

Wyatt Walker will do his best to break out his sick and dying crime boss mother Ida Walker out of jail, all while the FBI is hot on his tail

                            'Ida Red' Review: Paramount Movies' thriller fails to thrill in any way
Melissa Leo as Ida "Red" Walker in 'Ida Red' (Paramount Movies)

Spoilers for 'Ida Red'

A talented cast consisting of Hollywood's heartthrob Josh Hartnett and Academy award-winning actress Melissa Leo star in the latest thriller to grace our screens. 'Ida Red' is a crime- thriller which revolves around a family of criminals and their attempt to free their matriarchal crime boss mother before she dies.

The synopsis reads, 'Crime boss Ida "Red" Walker turns to her son, Wyatt, 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. Read on to know our thoughts on the movie.


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'Ida Red' begins on a confusing note as we see a robbery go down in partial darkness as Wyatt Walker ( Josh Hartnett) searches a truck when things go south. A shootout ensues where we're left to wonder who shot who as Wyatt and his group make their getaway. We then meet Ida 'Red' Walker(Melissa Leo) after whom the film is named. She's in jail and seriously sick with a vague illness we're not informed of as Wyatt comes to see her. He's her son who's come to check up on her with her asking how the job went(it didn't go well). We also meet Dallas Walker(Frank Grillo), Wyatt's uncle, Jeanie Walker (Deborah Ann Woll) Wyatt's sister, her daughter Darla(Sofia Hublitz), her husband Bodie (Slaine ) who is a cop, and Special Agent Lawrence Twilley of the FBI(William Forsythe ). Wyatt and Dallas' mission - to get out Ida before she dies in jail while carrying out a major heist that will set them up for life. 

Frank Grillo and Josh Hartnett in 'Ida Red' (Paramount Movies)


'Ida Red' tries to start off with an exciting opening whose essence is lost to a scene that is way too fast and dark to understand what happened. From then onwards it doesn't get any better. The movie tries its hardest to be exciting as the tension-building sound is injected into drab scenes with the dull conversation starkly contrasting the soundscore. A scene that shows Dallas in an adult video theatre where he has a conversation with Wyatt is incredibly distracted by the sound of moans as we try to decipher the conversation that is supposed to signal the start of excitement to come.

As the movie progresses we are treated to all-too-familiar scenarios that could be enjoyed just like familiarity is but again, is plain boring. Frank Grillo's act as the cold-blooded, wild cowboy Dallas Walker is a tried and tested character portrayal that is a sub-standard version of many originals from various movies, but thankfully serves as the most exciting character of this flick that slowly loses the title of a thriller.

A few character plots could have been entirely omitted to cut down on time. Darla's whole story is one main example as her purpose in the flick was served only at the very end of the movie, for a few seconds that were meant to serve as a cliffhanger but just caused us to sigh.

Josh Hartnett as Wyatt Walker in 'Ida Red' (Paramount Movies)


'Ida Red' is a combination of seen stories meshed into one and sadly barely qualifies as a thriller. The editing and story could also have used more work. Call us mean, but a few of the transitions reminded us of a PowerPoint presentation. This movie can be skipped or watched as a means to pass time. Josh Hartnett fans could indulge as the actor's charming looks could get you through it.

'Ida Red' is now available in select Theaters, On Digital & On-Demand on Paramount Movies.