"Retired, Extremely Dangerous," is how the file reads on retired CIA agent Frank (Bruce Willis), who finds himself pulled back into the game in the new action comedy 'Red,' which opens Friday.
Soon, he's reteaming with his old CIA chums (like 73-year-old Morgan Freeman) and this gang of "senior citizens" ably shows those young punks how it's done. For those of you who get a kick out of seeing Oscar winner Helen Mirren (who turned 65 this year) tote firearms and take out an armed guard with her purse, this list of age-defying ass-kickers is for you.
From ages 61 to ... nearly a thousand(!), here are some of cinema's most impressive "over-the-hill" badasses. (Willis, awesome action hero though he is, is a too-young-for-this-list 55.)
Judi Dench in the James Bond films (1995 - 2008)
Age: 61 - 74
Once you've run all of England, bossing around James Bond is child's play, at least for this tough-as-nails dame. Okay, so she doesn't literally kick ass as M, but since the deadliest spy in the entire world answers to her, we'll count it. On her first go-around in 'Goldeneye,' she called Bond (then played by Pierce Brosnan) a "sexist, misogynist dinosaur." Even if Bond rarely does what she asks, she continues to earn his grudging respect.
David Carradine in 'Kill Bill: Vol. 2' (2004)
Bill's ass-kicking days are mostly behind him, but he's still an incredibly formidable foe, one that The Bride (Uma Thurman) takes two entire films to face. It's only with (spoiler!) the Five Point Palm Exploding Heart Technique that she finally defeats him, a move she learned from another totally kick-ass senior citizen, kung fu master Pai Mei. See the final scene below.
Maggie Smith in the Harry Potter films (2001 - 2011)
Age: 67 - 76
Professor Minerva McGonagall is not only quick to discipline the students, but to stand up to fellow staff members, like the odious Dolores Umbridge. She's also able to hold her own against much younger opponents in magic duels. But McGonagall's truly heroic moments occur in the upcoming 'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.' We can't wait to see her lead Hogwarts into battle!
Morgan Freeman and Ben Kingsley in 'Lucky Number Slevin' (2006)
Ages: 69 and 62
These two Oscar-winning thesps play extremely badass rivals known as The Boss and The Rabbi, who engage in all-out warfare from their neighboring Manhattan penthouses. They have most of their dirty work carried out by underlings, but are only too happy to make things very personal (as in the clip below). Plus, we're giving Freeman extra credit for his badassery in 'Wanted,' and Kingsley for 'Sexy Beast,' ''Transsiberian' and this year's 'Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time.'
Yoda in 'Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones' (2002)
When Yoda takes on Count Dooku (then-80-year-old Christopher Lee, who makes more than one appearance on our list), it's definitely the best octocentenarian-octogenarian duel ever. The Force only gets stronger with age, apparently, so this is one helluva a throwdown ... one that's continued in 'Revenge of the Sith.'
Robert Duvall in 'Open Range' (2003)
The men he rides with joke that "Boss" has been around since Noah's flood, but when it comes time to stand up to a corrupt sheriff and his violent thugs, Boss doesn't pull any punches. "It'll be a while before he's of use," he says after delivering a beatdown to a much younger thug who attacked his friend. During the big shoot-out, he and former gunslinger pal Kevin Costner take on the whole town just about single-handedly. Maybe, like Johnny Cash's 'A Boy Named Sue,' he got so tough because his girly given name is ... Blue Bonnet!
Harrison Ford in 'Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull' (2008)
Indiana Jones a senior citizen? No way! But as he's always told us, it's not the years, it's the mileage, and Indy proved to be good for several more miles in this long-awaited sequel. In case you doubt he's still got it, check out his no-holds-barred fist fight with Russian heavy Dovchenko (at minute 1:12 in the trailer, below). We looked high and low for a clip but could find only Lego reenactments. But hey, even when he's tiny, plastic and completely immobile, Indy still kicks ass.
Ian McKellen and Christopher Lee in 'The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring' (2001)
Ages: 62 and 79
Everyone in Middle Earth lives a long, long time: These two powerful wizards are at least a thousand years old. When Gandalf (McKellen) realizes that Saruman (Lee) has turned against him, a surprisingly violent magic duel ensues. Gandalf appears to be defeated, but don't count him out after this minor scuffle -- or after a seemingly fatal run-in with an ancient Balrog.
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Sean Connery in 'The Rock' (1996)
Has any senior citizen ever had more fun than Connery when eluding the bad guys and thwarting the men who've unjustly held him captive for decades? You have to love the ingenious way he manages to escape from a hotel suite crawling with feds using just a line of string and a shower curtain (see the clip below, where he dangles John Spencer over a hotel balcony), followed by a glorious high-speed chase through San Francisco. And that's all before he even gets to "The Rock," where he outlives an entire squad of highly trained Black Ops hot shots.
Michael Caine in 'Harry Brown' (2010)
Harry Brown is a pensioner who's seen his neighborhood become a war zone, riddled with thrill-seeking junkies and terrible drug violence. When his best friend is killed trying to stand up to the local hooligans, Harry, a former Marine, becomes a one-man killing machine. Caine's been kicking ass since 1971's 'Get Carter' and he's never been better or more deadly.
Danny Trejo in 'Machete' (2010)
We had no idea that Trejo was eligible for Social Security! Mostly because the guy hasn't appeared to age a day since his turn as a knife-wielding assassin in 1995's 'Desperado.' In 'Machete,' we can't even begin to describe the jaw-dropping level of carnage he delivers. And he still gets the babes, too.
Clint Eastwood in 'Gran Torino' (2008)
They don't make 'em any tougher than Clint, even after all these years. "Once in a while, you come across someone you shouldn't have f--ked with. That's me," the Korean war vet tells a group of gang-bangers harassing his neighbor. He barely needed a shotgun to show he meant business in the 'Get off my lawn" scene. In this clip, he intimidates a different set of thugs with just his bare hands when he pulls the trigger on his imaginary gun. He's also pretty handy with his fists, getting the jump on someone less than one-third of his age.