Action-comedies have a formula. I can accept that. I went into Red Notice expecting it to be cheesy. I expected Ryan Reynolds to be Ryan Reynolds. I expected a few laughs and some impressive action. That is what I got, and absolutely nothing more.
The film follows John Hartley (Dwayne Johnson) and Inspector Urvashi Das (Ritu Arya) as they go on the hunt for an expert art thief, Nolan Booth (Ryan Reynolds). They are apparently tipped off by a mysterious character, The Bishop (Gal Gadot). A few plot holes later, the guys are stuck working together to clear Hartley’s name, and the comedic duo are left to their own devices.
Red Notice followed an extremely predictable storyline. Good guy (Johnson) chases bad guy (Reynolds), chaos, explosions, and disaster ensues. Anything that can go wrong, will, and of course, we need a sassy female villain (Gadot) too. Red Notice cost Netflix nearly $200 million, and though its big names may bring in views, this money could have been spent literally anywhere else.
Our characters begin in Rome, where we are introduced to everyone except The Bishop. From there, Red Notice hops from location to location with no explanation as to how they are accomplishing any of it. Though the number of sets is high, the number of characters is shockingly low. Outside the main four characters, the only others involved are a few prisoners that are simply there to give Reynolds the chance to show off his sarcasm, and a couple of men who exist to show you what a man-eater Gadot’s character is.
“Red Notice cost Netflix nearly $200 million, and though its big names may bring in views, this money could have been spent literally anywhere else.”
The plot holes in Red Notice are gaping. Even being a huge fan of the actors involved, and being entirely prepared to sit down and chuckle at a shallow film, I just couldn’t enjoy this one. Without revealing spoilers, there are moments that make literally no sense, but obviously put our characters in the exact position they need to be to let the story play out perfectly.
The story progresses so quickly, and then comes to a complete halt, so we can spend the next hour watching Reynolds and Johnson be who they are in literally every other movie. Gadot is left to try and keep up with the seasoned comedians. Unfortunately, though her boss-bitch attitude is admired, the script given to her was superficial at best. She held up the action end of the bargain well, but the material itself was too shallow, allowing her to be little more than flirty, when she was supposed to be a criminal mastermind.
Red Notice is very much every stereotype that comes to mind when you think of a basic, action-comedy. The serious cop, sarcastic criminal, and even sassier, sexy female. With the cast involved, I expected far more. Though much of the issue is source material, massive names like Johnson, Reynolds and Gadot should be able to come through, even just to make it entertaining, I wasn’t asking for an Oscar winner here. Everything in Red Notice has been done before, and it’s been done better.