Director: Rawson Marshall Thurber
Stars: Dwayne Johnson, Gal Gadot, Ryan Reynolds
Released: 5th November (Cinema) & 12th November (Netflix)
When a studio decides to slap three mega Hollywood stars into their movie, this indie film-loving writer becomes intrigued. Dwayne Johnson, Gal Gadot and Ryan Reynolds are very bankable stars but would it actually work? Like many other films, Red Notice was shut down during the Global Pandemic, but it’s finally being released. While the original trailer didn’t leave much of an impact, something about it made it intriguing.
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.
The fundamentals of action are to be entertained and allow your mind to switch off for a few hours. Red Notice delivers these fundamentals with great charisma and witty thrills. Dwayne Johnson & Ryan Reynold’s have established chemistry already, but the added element of Gadot elevates this trio. Rawson Marshall Thurber utilises his casts star power, but his thrilling narrative and fast pacing take it up a gear. The world Thurber establishes is sleek but not necessarily original, and yet you can easily allow this to slide.
While everything is as straightforward as you want within the narrative, you can sense the overbearing pressure of this production. It is well known that Red Notice is one of Netflix’s most expensive productions, along with expectations due to their cast. Thurber is just continuously pushing the interest button a bit too much. The sense of grand scale, epic action and witty remarks can become slightly repetitive. It needed a bit more depth and added more elevated levels to its characters. If it’s mindless fun you want, that’s fine, but a little bit of character development goes a long way.
Regardless of these minor character issues, the true driving force of this film is Johnson, Gadot and Reynolds. Without their energy and rapport, this could have been a very dull experience. Dwayne Johnson never seems to change his persona, and why fix something that isn’t broken? The banter he has with Ryan Reynolds is pure entertainment, and their Odd-Couple vibes let you forget about the world for a while. Gal Gadot’s performance was a lot more meddling than you’d anticipate. She toys around with her co-stars and has a nice vicious edge to her. When it comes to this film, it’s just mindless fun that doesn’t need to be broken down analytically. The studio system thrives on star power, and this is what Red Notice delivers.
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