Star Cast: Dwayne Johnson aka The Rock, Ryan Reynolds, Gal Gadot and ensemble.
Director: Rawson Marshall Thurber
What’s Good: It’s a wholesome experience that has action, comedy, Dwayne Johnson’s killer smirk, Ryan Reynolds’ mean one-liners and Gal Gadot kicking some balls (literally) while serving smouldering hot looks. Also, she is the baddie here, what a satisfying shift between characters!
What’s Bad: That it leaves you on the top of a crescendo and tells you to be on the cliff-hanger until they return if they do! (That’s not exactly bad, but you get it).
Loo Break: Nature’s call must be respected and taken before or after, because even the trio and their moves need respect too.
Watch or Not?: Why would you even ask that? Three of the biggest stars, a trailer that promises a lucrative meal. How many more reasons does one want?
Available on: Netflix.
Runtime: 116 minutes.
The great beauty Queen Cleopatra had three golden eggs (a throwback to history class, wish you would have studied a bit harder). An Egyptian Billionaire announces that he will pay trunks of cash if someone offers him those 3 eggs for his daughter’s wedding. Two thieves (Ryan (Nolan) & Gal (Bishop)) constantly trying to be number one get on the job to rob, and an FBI agent (Dwayne(John)) also gets involved. Do they get the eggs? who is to be believed? is the story.
Red Notice Movie Review: Script Analysis
I deserve gifts for writing a review for a film that has twists at a speed of 3 per 10 minutes and my job is to not give any spoilers. My heart rejoices when I witness movies made by filmmakers who are so aware of their source material, that they even make fun of it while making the most sense and telling you that we know this is too much suspension of disbelief we are asking for. Okay, that was complex. Let’s break that down, join me.
Red Notice means a warrant of the top order given to criminals who have eloped from a country to another to save themselves from the charges. Writer Rawson Marshall Thurber in Red Notice, the movie, pitches multiple individuals with the notice hanging over their heads. What is stolen are of course Cleopatra’s eggs, but the exciting part is who steals and to top that even the robber gets robbed. The cat and mouse chase begin from the first scene. No set-up, no cinematic superstar introductions, but we get right into business.
It is an action-mystery-suspense-comedy-thriller but Thurber never takes all those tags seriously. Rather he starts making fun of his own source material. He got three stars with the best comic (read mean for Ryan) timings, and he uses that to his fullest. Surprisingly even Gal Gadot catches the right nodes and delivers some best snooty scenes. At the heart of it, Red Notice is of course about a heist that travels countries and has twists at every turn. But there is much more if you scratch the surface.
Writer Rawson knows his three leads come with long and illustrious resumes. To honour them he makes fun of their past roles while acknowledging the viewer by not making it obvious. Dwayne Johnson gets a Hobbs & Shaw Easter egg, Gal Gadot has a shift in weapon during a fighting scene and Ryan Reynolds is anyways living an extension to his Deadpool character for real.
So all in all the film has everything you would want an entertainer to have (of course we will talk about action later). What also turned out to be very clever are the dialogues. The way Ryan and Dwayne play off each other, it’s almost improvisational. But then you realise this must have been on the paper. When Ryan doesn’t approve of Dwayne calling their friendship ‘marriage of convenience’, Ryan says, “I want divorce, and the kids will stay with me”. It is downright hilarious and you have to spill that popcorn tub.
There is a hint of repetitiveness for a moment or two and you will see that too. That brings down the energy for a while and that is the only dipping point.
Red Notice Movie Review: Star Performance
The casting in Red Notice hits the bull’s eye. Dwayne Johnson as Agent John is irritated and no-nonsense but when he meets Nolan aka Reynolds who is complete opposite, you are up for fun. The Rock uses his massive physicality to become the character. He is not the same ‘I will destroy everything’ angry giant, but a more calmer and controlled version.
Ryan Reynolds as Nolan is another cinematic iteration of his Twitter feed and I am up to watch infinite of them. He is so mean that at one point you have sympathy for people around him. But he is also clever for his own good but also gets influenced easily. Ryan plays this robber with ease and becomes one.
Gal Gadot is well beauty personified with some great acting chops and the art of killing humans with her swift moves. She does just that and more. The fact that she turns villain just after Wonder Woman, and if that isn’t enough, she is also becoming Cleopatra in her next period drama is how well the stars have aligned for her.
Together these three create a maze and play in that. Their dialogue delivery, conversational scenes are so sharp, you wait for the next crossover to pop up and the makers with the trio don’t disappoint.
Red Notice Movie Review: Direction, Music
Rawson Marshall Thurber seems to be a laughing beast when it comes to his filmmaking talent. He almost has everything in control in a movie that has the maximum potential to go wrong and scatter everywhere. He sticks to his story while touching numerous other things including homages to three old characters played by the three leads.
The action in Red Notice cannot be ignored too. The sequences are smart and made to fit the narrative. The first sequence between Dwayne and Ryan set in the museum is enough to tell you that a detailed thought has gone into shaping it. Cinematographer Marcus Förderer elevates everything with his camera and creates imagery that is both edgy and fun.
Steve Jablonsky’s music is what you call the right amount needed. Not a beat more, not less. He uses the crescendo of the screenplay to build his musical narrative.
Red Notice Movie Review: The Last Word
Red Notice is an action drama that has more than just action and that is rare. Takeout those 2 hours, grab a tub of popcorn and join Ryan Reynolds, Dwayne Johnson and Gal Gadot as they set out on the journey. Dwayne Johnson even goes on a ‘jungle cruise’ here, pun intended!
Red Notice Trailer
Red Notice releases on 4th November, 2021.
Share with us your experience of watching Red Notice.
By the way, you can also read our Jungle Cruise Movie Review here!