“An Interpol agent tracks the world’s most wanted art thief.”

Director: Rawson Marshall Thurber
Writer: Rawson Marshall Thurber
Staring: Dwayne Johnson, Ryan Reynolds, Gal Gadot, Ritu Arya
Where To Watch: Netflix & Theaters
Release Date: November 12, 2021

Here is something I never thought I’d say. Red Notice (2021) manages to take the charisma and potential of Dwayne Johnson, Ryan Reynolds, and Gal Gadot and creates a boring mush of action, comedy boredom.

Red Notice is a world-trekking action heist story that centers around agent John Hartley (Dwayne Johnson) chasing around renowned art thief Nolan Booth (Ryan Reynolds). Both men are put in a pickle with “The Bishop” (Gal Gadot) pins the pair in a massive crime, resulting in the odd couple needing to team up to escape constant danger and imprisonment. There is bantering, twists, jokes and explosions. Do they all flow together? Not so much.

Red Notice comes off like an RPG video game where you create your own likable characters and then run amuck through a world where everything you do looks cool. You can add character traits to looks, charm, persuasion, agility, etc. That is Red Notice. I am just coming up with this now; Red Notice is if the Uncharted video games where not just Nathan Drake but a group of people who all carry his personality. It is too much, and too much of a bad thing.

This movie had a 200+ million dollar budget, and still managed to look bad. Is that even possible? The answer is yes. Every single scene that was filmed indoors looks like it was filmed on a sound stage or in a backyard lot. Nearly every outdoor scene has the look of heavy green screen and bad CGI. The scene with the bull in Madrid when Hartley and Booth are attempting yet another mistake could be mistaken for a Sci-Fi channel fake.

What was the last good live action movie that Gal Gadot has been in? Wonder Woman (2017) put her on the scene, but since then there has not been much to write home about. The original cut of Justice League in 2017 was terrible and it was redeemed to a level in with Zach Snyder’s Justice League in 2021. She also had the stinker Wonder Woman 1984 (2020) and then this disappointment in Red Notice. Are we sure she leads to box office?

Also before ending I have to pose a question about Ryan Reynolds. Has he dove too deep into the Deadpool persona; the charismatic, lack-of-worry, cocky guy? The last movie where he wasn’t the comedic center of attention was Life (2017) and before that was Self/Less (2016). Credit to him for finding his lane, but I would like to see him get into a role where we forget it is Reynolds soon.

Another final grievance to nit pick Red Notice about is how hard they committed to the bit to keep the movie PG-13. There is only one hard swear word and there is nothing remotely sexual in the movie. Also, there are just no deaths. Nobody dies. This is like Batman of the comic days of lore when publishers and government entities watched over the stories like a creepy henchman. It is insane. Red Notice can be shown on the Disney channel. Come on Netflix, make something interesting.

Red Notice is a miss. It has its moments that are perfectly fine, but as a whole, this tastes like a cold fast food burger when you were expecting at least a homemade product right off the grill.

STANKO RATING: D+ (2.0/5 Stars)


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