Who doesn't love Dwayne Johnson, Gal Gadot or Ryan Reynolds? Throw them all together however, and the individual flavors just don't mix.
"Red Notice" is a serviceable but forgettable action-comedy - directed by Rawson Marshall Thurber, who teams with "The Rock" for their third film together. Their previous two films are spiritual cousins to "Red Notice" - "Central Intelligence" and "Skyscraper" - movies that are light and implausible, that seem to want to drift by based on the sheer star-power of the actors involved, instead of offering up anything innovative to the genre.
Yes, the "Red Notice" cocktail of Johnson, Gadot and Reynolds may look delicious from a distance, but an ounce of "originality" is the missing ingredient that might have made it go down a bit smoother.
Fans of Johnson, Gadot and Reynolds, may not care that all three of them seem to be playing the same exact characters that they do in most films. It seems to be wearing thinnest on Ryan Reynolds, whose schtick is really beginning to run dry. He plays an international thief in search of a lost artifact, with Johnson - an FBI forensic profiler. - in hot pursuit. Then enters The Bishop (Gadot), who is an even better thief than Reynolds.
They chase each other, banter back-and-forth, argue about if they are friends or not (Reynolds says they are, Johnson says they are not). There are explosions and some slick action-scenes...slick to the point that it's almost as if these actors were stuck into some computer program that generated generic action movies out the other side. Many "twists and turns" are presented, but the draw is always the three big stars in the center in which the rest of this movie's universe orbits.
None of it is particularly done well, and there are one too many winks to the audience along the way (including a Vin Diesel joke with Johnson's character...the two famously feuded on the "Fast & Furious" movies). This is apparently one of the most expensive Netflix films ever made, but in this case, it is one of the least rewarding ones...per dollar spent for sure.
"Red Notice" will likely be popular with the masses looking for mindless entertainment or as a diversion, but it's too bad that all of that star power isn't enough to generate even one spark of excitement.
Genre: Crime, Action, Comedy.
Run Time: 1 hour 58 minutes.
Starring: Dwayne Johnson, Ryan Reynolds, Gal Gadot, Chris Diamantopoulos, Ritu Arya.
Written and Directed by Rawson Marshall Thurber ("Skyscraper," "Central Intelligence," "We're the Millers").
"Red Notice" is in theaters on Friday, November 5th, 2021 and streaming on Netflix on Friday, November 12th, 2021.
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