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Red Notice is clichéd but worth a one-time watch
Dwayne Johnson, Ryan Reynolds, and Gal Gadot bring their talents to Netflix in the global comedic adventure Red Notice. Rawson Marshall Thurber, who previously worked with Johnson on the enjoyable popcorn flicks Central Intelligence and Skyscraper, writes and directs the film with the stylish globe-trotting game of cat-and-mouse (and cat).
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 must partner with the world’s greatest art thief Nolan Booth (Ryan Reynolds), to catch the world’s most wanted art thief, “The Bishop” (Gal Gadot). Thrust into a high-flying adventure that takes the trio around the world, across the dance floor, trapped in a secret prison, into the jungle, and, worst of all for them, constantly into each other’s company.
With an estimated production budget in the range of $160–200 million, Red Notice is the most-costly in Netflix’s history. The film was initially planned as a summer 2020 tent pole film for Universal, then Netflix acquired it. Now Netflix has become a significant player these last few years in the film industry, so how does their latest film measure up?
Generally, that will depend on how much you enjoy the acting talent of the three leads. Rawson Marshall Thurber’s script quickly plays on his actors’ strengths by tapping into the personality strengths we know them for. Dwayne Johnson is the muscle who will crack a joke here and there, Ryan Reynolds eschews charm mixed with sarcasm, while Gal Gadot is a beauty who will use her feminine wills to get what she wants and engage in fisticuffs if she needs.
The supporting cast in the film includes Ritu Arya and Chris Diamantopoulos, who do not have much to do other than serve as characters for the stars. Arya portrays a cop trailing the trio, while Diamantopoulos is the dimwitted arms dealer. Furthermore, there is nothing new in this film. Nearly every action sequence is a repeat of what you have already seen in an adventure or a heist film in the last forty years. There are explosions, a jungle, and double-crosses. Thankfully our three leads are having such a grand time, the predictably is forgivable.
Red Notice was not made to win any awards, and its clear director Rawson Marshall Thurber just wanted to set up another franchise for his three stars. While I doubt I will revisit Red Notice anytime soon, I recommend the film as a one-time watch for fans of the cast.
Final Grade: B –
Red Notice is in limited theaters now and will be available to stream Friday November 12 on Netflix.
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