In the interests of doing other things with my free time, this review will be written in approximately thirty minutes. Timer starts…now!
Ryan Reynolds and Dwayne Johnson’s winning chemistry elevates an otherwise unremarkable, though twisty, heist flick
Starring Dwayne Johnson, Ryan Reynolds, Gal Gadot, Ritu Arya, and Chris Diamantopoulos
What Red Notice provides is hardly revolutionary. The echoes to films like National Treasure and Indiana Jones are unmistakable, as well as liberal use of heist movie and buddy cop duo tropes. However, its uniting of successful household names Ryan Reynolds, Dwayne Johnson and Gal Gadot is what really elevates it into something far more entertaining.
Red Notice‘s pace never seems to let up, ricocheting from location to location at a rate of knots, with an abundance of unexpected twists thrown in for good measure. The MacGuffin here are the (fictional) eggs gifted to Cleopatra as a wedding gift. Special FBI Agent John Hartley (Dwayne Johnson) is caught in a battle of wits between two notorious art thieves Nolan Booth (Ryan Reynolds) and Sarah Black, otherwise known as “The Bishop” (Gal Gadot).
Framed for stealing one of the eggs, Hartley finds himself imprisoned alongside Booth, who appears to be the only person aware of the missing final egg’s location. The two form an alliance of necessity, escaping from the prison and determined to eliminate The Bishop.
The plot of the film is really secondary to the interplay between its stars. Reynolds and Johnson bounce off each other perfectly, with Reynold’s constant playful banter failing to permeate Johnson’s rock-hard, steely, no-nonsense veneer. Amidst these japes, Gadot’s Bishop proves to be the perfect foil to both of them, always seeming many steps ahead and running intellectual rings around them both. The scenes featuring all three are deliciously watchable.
The entire movie, replete with an excessive number of action sequences, also possesses oodles of tension and, unexpectedly, heart. Having said that, the true star is, fittingly, its stars, with the actual events and locations merely serving as the backdrop for this humour.
Red Notice is streaming now on Netflix.