Movie Review: Red Notice (2021)

Directed by Rawson Marshall Thurber (whose director credits include Central Intelligence and Skyscraper, each also starring Dwayne Johnson) Red Notice is a Netflix Original film released in 2021. Johnson stars as FBI Agent John Hartley, who is hunting down infamous art thief Nolan Booth (Ryan Reynolds) before Booth can steal the famous and priceless “Third Egg of Cleopatra”, three golden gifts to Cleopatra by Mark Antony. However, the two must team up to contend with The Bishop (Gal Gadot) another renowned art thief, also on the trail of the egg. Ritu Arya (The Umrella Academy) and Chris Diamantopoulos also star as Interpol Agent Urvashi Das and underworld figure Sotto Voce, respectively.

+ both Johnson and Gadot were a lot of fun in this. Johnson played somewhat against type; while still an absolute unit of a man, he was the intelligent guy on the trail of the thieves rather than just the muscle – that said, I’d like for Johnson not to typecast himself into the role of ‘bulky law enforcement nice guy’, I think he can do more. Gal Gadot is an absolute sexbomb in this movie, and everything she did was elegant and deadly, and she seemed to be having a lot of fun. I’m not the biggest Gadot fan, but I really enjoyed her character here and I’d say she was my favourite character in the movie
+ the plot has a few twists and turns, as you’d expect from any spy/heist movie. It’s not a game changer compared to other films and it won’t make or break the movie for you either way, but it’s fine. They sure are obvious, though, and I don’t like presuming a twist before it happens

Ryan Reynolds, Gal Gadot and Dwayne Johnson (image from IMDb, because I was far too uninterested to find good screenshots to use)

– Ryan Reynolds has overstayed his welcome as Ryan Reynolds playing Ryan Reynolds (see also: Free Guy, Hitman’s Bodyguard and its sequel, 6 Underground, both Deadpool films (sort of) and even Detective Pikachu). It’s all so tiresome. Johnny Depp only got three roles in — Jack Sparrow in Pirates, Tonto in Lone Ranger and the Mad Hatter in the Alice in Wonderland films — before people grew tired of his shtick. Why is Reynolds getting a free pass?
– the whole film is just… there. If you’ve seen a single heist film before, then you’ve seen this one. The star power is there for marketing purposes, but they all just play characters we’ve seen before in other, better films. The MacGuffins that drive the plot are never relevant outside of being the MacGuffin that drives the plot

> You may notice I reviewed The Hitman’s Bodyguard, but never reviewed the sequel. Rest assured, I did watch it, but found it to be so boring and cliched that it was not worth my time writing a review
> Thurber is also set to direct an eventual film adaption of Ubisoft’s video game franchise, The Division. I’ll believe that when it happens

Should you see this film: I watched this the day it came out, and I’ve been struggling to think of anything to say at all. So no. There is nothing in this film that has not been done before, and done better. What’s even the point of these movies? Tax evasion? Money laundering? Did these actors owe someone a favour?


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