Red Notice

Red Notice starring Dwayne Johnson, Ryan Reynolds, and Gal Gadot, feels like an Abbas Mustan movie written by Ryan Reynolds. If you let Ryan speak his own line, there is a high possibility that even the most generic scene will look like a funny one. And Red Notice from director Rawson Marshall Thurber depends heavily on Reynolds. After a point, even the post Deadpool hangover of the actor is also a bit tiring for the viewer. With all the twists visible from miles away, Red Notice is a sloppy film with pricy actors.

The critical element in the movie is these mythical three eggs of Cleopatra that claim to have an enormous value. Special Agent John Hartley is on a mission to find Nolan Booth, who managed to steal one of the eggs. Hartley and the team managed to capture Booth, but the eggs again went missing while it was under the custody of Hartley, and thus Hartley is sent to the same jail along with Booth. While in jail, they both realized that “The Bishop” was the one behind all this, and she was going after the remaining eggs. Hartley’s attempt to stop Bishop so that he could prove his innocence and what all things happen in that process is what we see in Red Notice.

Red Notice belongs to that action-comedy genre where the writing is never taken seriously. If you look at the story, it’s pretty much that age-old template of twists that is now very familiar for the audience. Written by Thurber, Red Notice is only looking for opportunities to squeeze in fight sequences. The wittiness they are trying to achieve works in the movie’s initial moments. Like I already said, even Reynolds’ signature banter jokes feel like a tactic of the filmmaker to cover up the mediocrity.

With his usual set of expressions, Dwayne Johnson is pretty much playing the Dwayne Johnson we see in most of his movies. The same was the case with Ryan Reynolds, whose natural sense of humor is visible in every other character he plays these days, and he should seriously think about reinventing. He is funny, and actually, it’s only because of him the movie feels like something that you can sit through. Even though the character is written poorly, Gal Gadot manages to add some aura around The Bishop.

Rawson Marshall Thurber knows that he can’t really impress people with a story that feels unique. So he is basically depending on the USPs of his main stars. Johnson is the tough guy, Reynolds is the funny one, and Gadot is given all those lovely clothes and is presented as this seductive art thief. The combat sequences in the movie are nice, and the two men reaching Sotto Voce’s secret chamber felt like Mission Impossible on a budget. The twists in the tale are supposed to be surprising, according to Thurber. But he clearly underestimates the basic intelligence of the viewer, and those black and white flashes showing us how the double-crossing happened reminded me of Joey explaining the card trick.

Usually, Abbas Mustan movies are inspired by foreign films, and this time for a change, I got to see things happening the other way around. But because of the generic nature of the treatment, you don’t even get to feel the unintended comedy. The movie ends with the announcement of a possible sequel, and I don’t really see anything spectacular happening in that one.

Final Thoughts

The wittiness they are trying to achieve works in the initial moments. Like I already said, even Reynolds' signature banter jokes feel like a tactic of the filmmaker to cover up the mediocrity.


Green: Recommended Content

Orange: The In-Between Ones

Red: Not Recommended


By Aswin Bharadwaj

Founder and editor of Lensmen Reviews.