Film & TV

‘Red Notice’: Three Eggs, $200 Million and One Campy Heist Thriller

Courtesy of Frank Masi, NetflixThe Bishop (Gal Gadot) in Netflix's "Red Notice."

Director: Rawson Marshall Thurber
Date: November 12, 2021

PG-13 | 1 hour 58 minutes

Pairing their largest budget ever with three of today’s biggest movie stars, Netflix, with their latest film “Red Notice,” creates the exciting, but sub-par film that was expected.

In this $200 million film, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson reunites with director Rawson Marshall Thurber (“Skyscraper,” “Central Intelligence”) for yet another star-studded thriller with an excess amount of action. The buddy to his cop is the ever-charismatic Ryan Reynolds with the wonderful Gal Gadot balancing out the cast.

Johnson stars as FBI behavioral analyst John Hartley who is tasked with apprehending Reynolds’ Nolan Booth, the self-proclaimed greatest art thief in the world. Gadot plays the world-proclaimed greatest art thief, known only as “The Bishop,” who consistently puts the boys in checkmate.

Reynolds essentially plays himself by utilizing his patented Deadpool sense of humor, with Johnson as his straight man, perpetually in a coat a few sizes too tight. As the primary antagonist of the film, Gadot’s Bishop remains several moves ahead of the pawns working against her.

The movie’s central crimes revolve around bringing three golden Egyptian eggs together, the third of which has never been found. Traveling from Rome to Paris and many countries in between, the globe-trotting aspect of the movie widens the scope of the plot.

The movie succeeds by never taking itself too seriously. From calling out the obligatory prison fight scene, to a car chase being halted after three seconds, there are several scenes deliberately poking fun at the highly serialized spy-thriller genre.

It becomes clear the record-breaking budget of the film was primarily used to lock in three major stars.

Johnson successfully delivers a layered performance, simultaneously being intimidating and witty. Reynolds, despite being the comedic relief of the film, is also the emotional anchor of the piece, with his vulnerability growing as the story progresses. Gadot, now a household name, provides the audience with a powerful and seductive, yet never overly-sexual, female character — this time without the golden suit.

Courtesy of Netflix Dwayne Johnson stars as John Hartley alongside Ryan Reynolds’s Nolan Booth in “Red Notice.”

For a movie that cost Netflix such an exorbitant amount, it would make sense for the studio to treat this film as if it were as important as “The Irishman” — now Netflix’s second most expensive movie. Instead, the studio is able to create something that’s just plain enjoyable. 

Unlike “The Irishman” — whose budget was predominantly used to have realistic de-aging technology — the effects in “Red Notice” were underwhelming at best. Whether it was the glaringly fake cars in the opening scene of the film or an animated bull in the colosseum, there are multiple points where it’s hard to see a correlation between the money and the quality. 

“Red Notice” (Thurber’s Version) has the potential to be a movie that lasts for years to come. The movie is nothing special and doesn’t seem to be worth $200 million, but Netflix succeeded in creating a solid, star-studded popcorn flick. 

Netflix’s “Red Notice,” rated PG-13, is streaming now and is showing in select theatres.

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