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Red Notice (2021) – Movie Review

Red Notice review

Story of Red Notice

In RED NOTICE, Nolan Booth (Ryan Reynolds) portrays himself as the world’s greatest art thief, but he is constantly thwarted by a nameless thief known as The Bishop (Gal Gadot). When FBI agent John Hartley (Dwayne Johnson) joins forces with Interpol officers, led by Inspector Das (Ritu Arya), to apprehend Booth, who has the highest-level arrest warrant out of Interpol, The Bishop frames him in return, sending Booth and Hartley to prison before they go on the lam. The stakes have never been higher than they are now, and the competition has just begun. The hunt for a priceless antiquity is on – Booth, Bishop, and Hartley all want to earn $1 million for returning it, while Andover seeks to clear his name. Of course, nothing is as simple as it appears, and the caper will take the players all around the world.

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Red Notice

Red Notice Review

Reynolds plays Nolan Booth, a notorious art thief who is imprisoned alongside intelligent FBI profiler John Hartley (Johnson). It turns out that both of them have been fooled by the Bishop (Gal Gadot), an attractive femme fatale artist thief hell-bent on stealing all three of Cleopatra’s legendary golden eggs to sell on the black market. The game of cat-and-mouse that follows leads the characters to exotic locations such as Bali, Rome, and Argentina, although these locales are not explored or even shown onscreen beyond title cards announcing the location. The international settings shown in the movie are just another box checked off of the generic-action-film BINGO card, much like the main concept of rival thieves pursuing a “MacGuffin.”

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Red Notice movie review Cinemahdv2

Despite the fact that it’s a standard plot — reluctant partners working together to take down a shared enemy — the chemistry and charisma of the film’s leading men make it feel new. In an especially amusing sequence, Reynolds loudly exposes Johnson as a police officer in the middle of a Russian prison cafeteria, much to his annoyance. When the two are released from prison, they’re overjoyed to get new clothes — until Johnson finds out he has only a glittery sweater that says “Gotta Dance” to wear. These and other instances where the actors bicker with one another are among the film’s funnier moments. Given Johnson’s past success as a straight man in comedies with an off-the-cuff partner, this may not come as much of a surprise.

It’s not the case with Gadot, who gives a performance nearly as wooden as her ill-received “Wonder Woman: 1984” role. The vast majority of Gadot’s screen time is spent kicking, tripping, or otherwise knocking down the men of “Red Notice” to get what she wants. With little effort, her character can outwit Hartley and Booth in any number of ways, from pretending to be an INTERPOL Inspector on the phone to impersonating the warden of the gulag they’re imprisoned in. While it’s entertaining to witness a female antagonist go toe-to-toe with two action heroes, her personality as a whole is lacking in development beyond the ability to fight. Booth and Hartley both had fathers who drove them into their respective professions. The most we learn about Gadot’s “Bishop” is through a twist revealed in the film’s final minutes, and even that doesn’t provide much insight into her intentions. In fact, Gadot’s character is less fleshed out than Inspector Das, a minor character portrayed by Ritu Arya of the “Umbrella Academy.”

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Red Notice movie review

“Red Notice” is a decent motion picture, despite Gal Gadot’s performance. Is there anything complex about the characters? No. A compelling narrative? Not quite. Are there any spectacular visuals? There are some nice shots, but nothing that audiences haven’t seen before — and that’s fine. Nobody watches “Red Notice” for its political commentary, amazing plot, or mind-boggling cinematography. They’re there to see their favorite celebrities in action-hero versions of themselves while delivering a few laugh-worthy remarks. If you approach it with this attitude, you won’t be let down.

Trailer

Director

Rawson Marshall Thurber

Writer

Rawson Marshall Thurber

Stars

Dwayne Johnson, Ryan Reynolds, Gal Gadot, Ritu Arya, Chris Diamantopoulos

4/5 - Movie Rating!

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