Red Notice: Review

Red Notice is an American action-comedy film released on Netflix, directed and written by Rawson Marshall Thurber. The film starring Dwayne Johnson as an FBI agent who reluctantly teams up with a renowned art thief who stars Ryan Reynolds to catch a more notorious thief who stars Gal Godot. 

It was a film with tremendous star power and a massive budget, but did it give what it is expected to be? Sadly, the answer is no.  

The two-hour film packed with elegant looks and a great star cast is expected to be something on another level, but in the end, it generates as a few soaps’ bubbles. 

Red Notice swivels around a rickety axis that can barely hold its weight despite all its spectacular sets and locations. Individually all the stars had added their flavour in the movie, but the buzz they had created just remained the buzz at the end.  

The film is full of all the factors to be a blockbuster movie, the most expensive film to ever stream on Netflix, the star stubbed casting, the action-adventure comedy. Still, despite having all these things, the film never rises above its surface.

The plot revolves around art thieves, but it conveniently forgot the art of it. Written and directed by Rawson Marshall Thurber, the movie hinges on an FBI agent and two art thieves.

The film could very well serve as a tour for exotic travel destinations as the trio flies from Rome, Bali, London, Russia, Egypt and then Argentina to follow each other and to search for a priceless work of art believed to be missing for decades. The twist after twist in the movie gets piled up, and it never settles in a steady rhythm.  

From an action sequence to an escape from a high-security prison in Russia, from ancient Egyptian artefacts to Nazi-era loot tucked away in a faraway jungle, Red Notice hops from one set piece to another without even finding a cohesive core to hold it together.  

We met Nolan Booth, the character played by Ryan Reynolds, the ‘second-best art thief’ in the world, who’s on a search to locate and reunite the ‘three lost eggs of Cleopatra’.

John Hartley, the character played by Dwayne Johnson, an FBI agent, with a mission to catch Nolan at any cost. There is a third character too, the bishop or ‘the best art thief in the world’ played by Gal Gadot, who has often companied Nolan in their pursuit of artistic brilliance. 

The bishop gets Nolan arrested by providing information to Agent Hartley and frames Agent Hartley in the same breath. Talk about a double whammy. Now, the film takes the shape of a cop-buddy movie, where two opposite males come together to survive the injustices meted out to them, in this unique case by a woman.  

All the three big stars Johnson, Gadot and Reynold, have given all their efforts to what they are good at, but that doesn’t enough to raise the level of the film they had promised to deliver. 

The only spice in this blank plate of food is the comical element and the one-liner by Reynold with Johnson and the minor skirmish between the two alpha males. Ritu Arya makes the most substantial impact in the supporting cast by playing an Interpol officer who gives the FBI man a run for his money.  

The film promises to deliver us an adventure of a lifetime, packed full of action, a roller coaster ride through the exotic locations, a high amount of adrenaline, but it delivers nothing.

While reviewing the film for the Los Angeles Times, Justin Chang wrote, “A depressing reminder of what Hollywood considers ‘original’ material these days, Red Notice plays one of those self-consciously convoluted, ultimately long derivative cons that strain so hard to seem breezily insouciant they wind up wearing you out. By the end, it’s the clichés that warrant a rest.” 

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