- Hamish Hart
Red Notice (2021) Review
FILMS like Red Notice, a lackadaisical endeavour only existing to turn your brain off and relax, can serve meaningful and clear-cut purposes. But when your film fails to provide humorous engagement or stellar action, that's when the cracks begin to make themselves known, taking you out of the "experience".
Interpol agent John Hartley (Dwayne Johnson) continues his global search for notorious con-man Nolan Booth (Ryan Reynolds), leading him and Booth to a Russian prison after being framed for crimes against the agency by an unknown assailant. Now forced to work together, Hartley and Booth must go up against the world's most wanted art thief "The Bishop" (Gal Gadot) in order to stop her plans of world domination.
A tale as old as time; nonconforming agent doesn't work by the books and ends up paying the price for it by getting framed, so he must work with his arch enemy to bring peace to the world. Despite Red Notice being Netflix's most expensive film at $160,000,000, plot ingenuity wasn't exactly high on the priority list for director Rawson Marshall Thurber as his brand of repetitive storytelling is unmissable throughout.
Thurber draws inspiration from his previous critical flops such as 2018's Skyscraper to create a story that feels shoved together rather than weaved, creating mass confusion and undisputable boredom throughout much of the movie. This experience is only further let down by the horrifically-generic score used during every action sequence, building up expectations which end up being dashed away as the boring music takes you out of this world of absurdity.
Generic is a word that gets thrown around alot, with Red Notice being the poster child for it. Director Thurber doesn't bring anything new or interesting to the table, relying on the star power of Reynolds, Gadot and Johnson to make up for the film's lack of shine. The leading trio are more than capable of creating magic on the big screen, and all three do as decent a job as they can, but the lacklustre script from Thurber feels disjointed and spiritless due to unamusing humour and outdated references, giving the film an aura of apathy by the time it drags to a predictable, long overdue ending that I was yearning for by the end of act one. I wish there was more to say about Red Notice, but much like the film, you can only repeat the same repetitive garbage so much before it becomes stale and uninteresting.