The trio of Deadpool, Black Adam, and Wonder Woman- that’s how the recently released Netflix heist comedy, Red Notice, has been promoted prior to its release. Starring Ryan Reynolds, Gal Gadot, and Dwayne ‘Rock’ Johnson, the film is the streamer’s most ambitious and expensive (a whopping $200 million) project to date. And we as audiences had complete faith in it as well. After all, the film has Johnson who is literally known as the franchise builder; Gadot whose performance as Wonder Woman will remain memorable forever, and of course, the Ryan Reynolds who has made Deadpool an immortal legend. We wondered, what could go wrong with the film? The answer? Almost (yep, almost). Every. Single. Thing.
Before watching Netflix’s Red Notice, it was its reviews that reached us first. And we went watching it with the perspective that it was another Ryan Reynolds starrer with humor that lacks any substance, just like his Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard which was released earlier this year. But while Red Notice is not a brilliant heist adventure, its every twist and turn is painfully predictable, and yes it lacks any substance, we have to agree that there is not a single second when the story turns boring thanks to Reynolds’ charismatic presence and hilarious quips.
Red Notice starts off with Dwayne Johnson’s Agent John Hartley, a criminal profiler who works for the FBI, on the hunt for Nolan Booth (Ryan Reynolds)- the world’s best art thief who is after the mythical three eggs of Cleopatra. He is given the information of the latter’s whereabouts by an anonymous third player, The Bishop. Hartley nabs Booth and gets the FBI the egg but is double-crossed by the Bishop, who not only steals the egg but also incriminates the agent as a fraud as well. This leaves Hartley and Booth no option but to bust their way out of jail and steal the remaining two eggs while arresting the Bishop who turns out to be Gal Gadot.
From here the story takes a limited amount of easily foreseeable plot twists as Hartley and Booth try to outrun the Bishop. If you hop onto watching Red Notice hoping for an intelligent plot and desiring character stories that will demand your attention, you are in for a major disappointment. There is no mystery in the air, no sense of urgency for the opposite parties to reach their goal first. There are no juicy characters nor any proper character development. Here Gal Gadot’s role is that of a glamourous and cunning thief who can outsmart anyone in the world but her performance is disappointingly unconvincing. Yes, she looks like a million bucks, but the motive behind the same is hard to pinpoint and as for her clever methods, they are barely on display during the 2-hour long film.
As for Dwayne Johnson, all he manages to do is look bored whether the scene involves him dancing with Gal Gadot, busting his way out of jail, or landing some badass punches. The only salvageable portions in the films are those which involve Ryan Reynolds and while we definitely blame Rawson Marshall Thurber for his weak script and direction, at least he had the brains to make the Deadpool star the highlight of the story. But that so does not mean that we are in for the sequel-teasing ending Red Notice wraps up with. A big NO there.