69 / 100
Watchable Minutes : 140 / 157. This is a long movie, but it could stretch to about 100 minutes and be fine. There’s a little extra CGI and a few scenes that could be cut out entirely without making much of an impact to the overall story.
Movie or Film : This is a regular, run of the mill, movie. There’s nothing here besides crime is fun if you don’t get caught.
- Run time : 1 hour 57 minutes
- Studio : Seven Bucks Productions
- Director : Rawson Marshall Thurber
- Where to Watch : Netflix
FBI profiler John Hartley is hot on the heels of Nolan Booth, world famous art thief, who has just been put on Red Notice. After booking Booth, and fasley assuming that it would be just that easy, Hartley finds himself a suspect of Interpol and is jailed with Booth in a russian prison. Desparate to clear his name, Hartley teams up with Booth after it becomes evident that they are both being targeted by the elusive Bishop, a boogeyman of the crime world who has their sights set on the same score that Booth is after.
Red Notice is the premiere Netflix original movie of the 4th quarter of 2021. It’s no doubt the most well advertised with some of the largest stars available in Dwayne Johnson, Ryan Reynolds, and Gal Gadot pushing it on every single social media platform on the planet. While Red Notice has the budget and the star power, it’s lacking in several other areas. Helmed by Rawson Marshall Thurber, this comedic heist action-adventure movie borrows from many different classics and attempts to fuse genres into an ultimately underdeveloped and almost bland blockbuster.
There’s a lot of things that feel lukewarm about this movie. The first being the story, which mechanically speaking is fine. There’s nothing overtly wrong with it, it’s just a mix of things that worked well for other movies all jammed into the script in the hopes that it’ll all work out and it almost does, but not quite. It felt like the first few minutes was Ocean’s 11, then the next little while was Indiana Jones and then the last bit was something else entirely. The combinations felt like there wasn’t enough life in any one of them to really make an impact on the audience and ultimately failed to live up to any sort of expectations. Overall, the movie is easy to follow and doesn’t require a lot of brain power to figure out. This is an easy movie to throw on in the background and work on something else (like editing a podcast) or doing homework. Throughout it all, each action the characters took made sense on paper, but it can’t be helped that each situation is more ridiculous than the last until it gets to the most ridiculous point in the third act. There’s a certain level of disbelief that the audience has to have in order to even enjoy this movie. And the desire to see how this insane movie would end is what drove me to finish watching it, otherwise I would have shut it off about halfway through.
Through out the absurdity and ridiculousness, there are quite a few laughs to be had thanks to the cast and their chemistry. The main cast is made up of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Ryan Reynolds, and Gal Gadot. Johnson and Thurber have worked together on several movies in the past and it’s as if there’s an understanding between them – The Rock does whatever The Rock wants to do and it’s gonna be in the movie. And for the most part, he does what he does best – witty one liners, physical comedy, and humiliating feats of strength (for the audience). Then there’s his partner in crime, Ryan Reynolds – Nolan Booth – who is a mix between Indiana Jones and Nathan Drake from Uncharted, and well, Ryan Reynolds. He does what he does best too – even wittier one liners, funny voices, and physical comedy yet again. Johnson and Reynolds fight for the spotlight, but it’s evenly distributed across these two and the last big star in Gal Gadot. Her character, aptly called “The Bishop” is smooth, deliberate, and a textbook double crosser. Gadot plays in the space between Reynolds and Johnson and rounds out the cast in a much needed role. Johnson is a hammer as usual, Reynolds is a hilarious wet noodle, but Gadot is a scalpel that balances out the other two. When all three of them are on screen together, which happens a fair amount, there’s a lot of charisma and talent on display but all three of them ultimately end up just playing slightly exaggerated versions of themselves.
Red Notice‘s direction and writing force it into that same lukewarm bucket. There’s nothing inspiring about it and it relies heavily on the talent of the main cast to keep it afloat. Thurber’s most well known for Dodgeball, Central Intelligence, and Skyscraper, two of which are action vehicles for Johnson. There’s plenty of comedy in his portfolio so it’s unsurprising that this movie is as funny as it was. However, I think the cast is what really made this work. All three actors are incredibly accomplished in movies like this, so Thurber probably got to sit back and relax for a little while on set and just let the big three go to work which isn’t a bad thing. Work smarter, not harder right? If there’s an all star cast like this – let them do the heavy lifting and that’s precisely what Thurber seemed to do. In the visuals department, there are quite a few points taken off. The entire sequence with the bull looked abysmal and they should be embarrassed for putting out a scene that looks like that. There were some decent shots of gorgeous landscapes, but nothing came close to making anybody say “woah”. The various action set pieces felt floaty and rubbery, which takes away from the overall impact of the shots. The same can be said about the score, bland and rubbery. The soundtrack utilized some classic tunes and really went all in with the tongue in cheek homages to Indiana Jones.
Overall, Red Notice is fun and entertaining for most of it’s run time, but is ultimately disposable. This is not the type of movie that I can see myself rewatching for years to come. In fact, I don’t think I’ll ever watch it again and it won’t get my vote for movie night, that’s for sure. However, I will be recommending it to my friends and family for their movie nights as long as they haven’t seen it. Red Notice follows the Netflix original trend of being a well funded and talent laden movie, but is ultimately burdened by it’s lack of meaningful resolution and the tendency to play the long sequel game instead of making a quality one and done picture. Not everything needs to be serialized, Netflix.
If you like this, check out :
- Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark
- Ocean’s 11
- Logan Lucky