RED NOTICE, another Dwayne Johnson actioner, was directed & written by Rawson Marshall Thurber, who previously had Johnson scale Skyscraper. Somehow this 2021 trifle consumed $200,000,000, which Netflix hoped they could entice enough viewership to recoup, since the actual box-office was a teency one percent of the expenditure. Breath will be held.
The hook for the noisemaking is the old art heist plot, this time with competing factions looking for a jewel-encrusted egg gifted to Cleopatra, the last of three given to her by Mark Antony. They could have saved a lot of money looking for the baubles Richard Burton showered on Elizabeth Taylor, but it’s early and we have already digressed…
You may digress while watching, poking awake to register that it’s not one of the host of movies the characters namedrop in the script, which might as well have included flashing inserts to pop up saying “Isn’t this clever?” Thurber directs the action well enough, though with so much CGI involved and so many 1000-to-1 escapes-from-certain-death rammed at you, any believability factor vaporizes, leaving then the dialogue, so self-aware as a franchise product it practically kisses itself.
Johnson has charisma to spare, consistently shares unforced chemistry with his leading ladies, is confident enough to look foolish and kid himself, and has gotten steadily better as an actor: he just needs some challenging material. The co-funsters are Ryan Reynolds and Gal Godot. The former’s smartypants schtick wears threadbare this time, and Gadot’s gorgeous gams and her convincing talent at kicking them can only carry enough eye candy to get from one scene to the next.
While the trio tirelessly (and tiresomely) trade quips and defy logic, the best impression is made by supporting actress Ritu Arya, arresting enough to warrant more than decorative backup assignments like this.
Though set in numerous locations around the world, most filming was done in Georgia, USA. Some work was done in Rome, Paris, Sardinia and Malaga, Spain, but with so much obvious CGI at work you’d never know.
With Chris Diamantopolous as ‘Sotto Voce’, exemplifying the character name by being one of the least threatening villains in years. Speaking of threat, sequels are bound to come, wasting many more millions on paint-by-numbers nonsense. Running 118 minutes, at least twenty too many. Painful when you consider how many smart, original, independent movies could be bankrolled out of the money poured into a self-evaporating air-sandwich like this. C’mon, Dwayne! Get a grip, Gal. Rein it in, Ryan.
One thought on “Red Notice”
Clearly a movie made to launder money, though, we did laugh now and then and were surprised by a turn ot two. Ryan might as well have worn his Deadpool costume.