The biggest movie stars in the world currently (Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Ryan Reynolds and Gal Gadot), combine to bring us this caper-comedy, featuring huge set pieces, globe trotting script and enough laughs to entertain the majority of people watching, or does it?
When an Interpol-issued Red Notice — the highest level warrant to hunt and capture the world’s most wanted— goes out, the FBI’s top profiler John Hartley (Dwayne Johnson) is on the case. His global pursuit finds him smack dab in the middle of a daring heist where he’s forced to partner with the world’s greatest art thief Nolan Booth (Ryan Reynolds) in order to catch the world’s most wanted art thief, “The Bishop” (Gal Gadot). The high-flying adventure that ensues takes the trio around the world, across the dance floor, trapped in a secluded prison, into the jungle and, worst of all for them, constantly into each other’s company.
There’s so much charisma and downright sexiness on display it’s hard to dislike Red Notice. However, there’s just something about it that just doesn’t click right. Maybe it’s just too much of a good thing going on here that both Johnson and Reynolds are starting to become their own sub-genre of movies. From Johnson’s muscle bound hero, check. Self depreciating comedy, check. Smash stuff and throwing people around, check. Jungle, check. All the ladies love him, check. The only thing missing from the Johnson genre is a Kevin Hart appearance. As for Ryan Reynolds, he’s pretty much been doing the same thing since Van Wilder, just add in some action man credentials and a smoulder that puts even Dwayne Johnson’s trademarked version to shame. As for Gal Gadot, she simply beats up anything with a XY Chromosome for pretty much the entire run time.
However, Red Notice under Rawson Marshall Thurber, who himself is no stranger to Johnson as he directed him in Central Intelligence and Skyscraper, manages to hold things together just about to deliver what the audience are likely to want. Insert some incredible locational work and you have the chemical balance to create what would have been box office gold. However a limited cinema release in the US aside, it’s been delivered via streaming to Netflix. So some of the grander scale parts fall somewhat flat. What Red Notice basically boils down to is a highly generic caper movie, with twists that you’ll likely see a mile off.
So, is Red Notice as busted flush? Well, no, but this could be the over saturation point for Johnson and Gadot. Ryan Reynolds could probably run over your cat, and you’d still love him. He gets all the best lines, which has been revealed for the most part were improvised. The only jarring moments with the quips come when the movie making jokes are delivered as they take you out of the film and characters and you realise you are just watching Reynolds and Johnson having a bit of Multi-Million dollar fun at Netflix expense.
Red Notice will likely do well on the platform, but our main players in particular Johnson and Reynolds need to widen their scope of roles, before the schtick becomes stale if it hasn’t already.