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movie reviews
Red Notice

Red Notice

Netflix's $200 million project is never particularly good, but is also never particularly bad.

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What do you get if you mix Deadpool's sarcasm with the Fast & The Furious character Hobbs, and spice it up with copious amounts of the Pink Panther, National Treasure and a pretty flat James Bond pastiche? You get Red Notice. Netflix's latest $200 million project. The story begins during an art coup in Rome where the master thief Nolan Booth (Reynolds) intends to steal one of the golden Cleopatra-eggs. Out of nowhere, the FBI agent John Hartley shows up who travelled all the way to Italy to catch the man who has eluded him in recent years, and in the middle of all this is Gal Gadot's character "Bishop" who also wants to get her hands on the egg.


Red Notice really starts just like any action comedy and there is a feeling of tired, lethargic, unimaginative, typical formula here where no one cares about originality, characters that feel alive, or any kind of depth or story that you can't figure out in it's entirety after two minutes. Ryan Reynolds' art thief is Deadpool, or Free Guy, through-and-through. Good-looking, smart, deeply sarcastic, childish and skilled. Everything he ever says is comical and just like in the case of his interpretation of Wade Wilson, he talks very fast and what he says contains plenty of references that break the fourth wall. Booth often refers to other films, which makes the tone in Red Notice feel a little strange at first.

Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson on the other hand is just as humourless as in the case of his Fast & Furious-character Hobbs. He is stoically tough, a little arrogant, strong and confident. His body is by now so large that he can barely run, something that director Rawson Marshall Thurber (Dodgeball / Skyscraper) uses to create some kind of contrast-based comedy in relation to Booth's athletically agile parkour capacity. In the middle of all this we find Gal Gadot (Wonder Woman) in the role of the international super thief Bishop and her character is of course beautiful, sexy, unreliable, insidious and extremely determined. There really is not a single quality of any of the three main characters that we have not seen 700,000 times before and it feels in more ways than one a little tragic that these actors do not deserve better, a character they haven't already played, for years upon years.

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With that said, there are other qualities in Red Notice that make it a little bit better than I expected, actually. Skyscraper director Rawson Marshall Thurber tries to create his own James Bond, and takes us to Moscow, London, Chile, Rome and several other more or less exotic places, drowning the scenes in music that could have been taken from one of Daniel Craig's 007 films, and puts a lot of effort into trying to build something elegant. The focus is on fancy environments, beautiful clothes that fit perfectly, delightful photography and high-flying action. And it works.

Reynolds and The Rock fight as if they really never did anything else, the choreography is tight and good looking and scenes are big. The scaffolding collapses as Reynolds throws himself between floors, The Rock throws prison guards around him in Russia like if they were children and Gal Gadot kicks Italian goons in the face like a crazy person, as they intend to steal the second of three coveted golden eggs. For its part, Red Notice is never particularly bad, but it's never especially good. There is a scene where Hartley and Booth are put face to face with a bull that looks like I did it in Word, but overall this is a pretty good-looking, pretty boring action comedy without brain or originality. It is better than, for example, 6 Underground or Army of the Dead, but on the other hand it does not say much.

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05 Gamereactor UK
5 / 10
overall score
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Red Notice

Red Notice

MOVIE REVIEW. Written by Petter Hegevall

Netflix's $200 million project is never particularly good, but is also never particularly bad.

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