Movie Reviews

Red Notice is mildly entertaining

When an Interpol-issued Red Notice — the highest level warrant to hunt and capture the world’s most wanted— goes out, the FBI’s top profiler John Hartley (Dwayne Johnson) is on the case. His global pursuit finds him smack dab in the middle of a daring heist where he’s forced to partner with the world’s greatest art thief Nolan Booth (Ryan Reynolds) in order to catch the world’s most wanted art thief, “The Bishop” (Gal Gadot). The high-flying adventure that ensues takes the trio around the world, across the dance floor, trapped in a secluded prison, into the jungle, and, worst of all for them, constantly into each other’s company. The all-star cast is joined by Ritu Arya and Chris Diamantopolous. Directed and written by Rawson Marshall Thurber (Central Intelligence, Skyscraper) and produced by Hiram Garcia, Dwayne Johnson and Dany Garcia of Seven Bucks Productions, Beau Flynn’s Flynn Picture Co. and Thurber’s Bad Version, Inc., Red Notice is a stylish globe-trotting game of cat-and-mouse (and cat).

The Good

Red Notice

Red Notice is a very fun and visually attractive movie to watch. The movie sucks you in with its exotic locations and really cool drone cinematography used to show awesome global landmarks. The movie is very easy on the eyes with a lot of great camera angles chosen for capturing kinetic moments. One of the strengths of Red Notice is its ability to keep your eyes glued to the action. Red Notice is a very stylish film with excellent cinematography techniques, angles, and single-take shots from beginning to end.  I can’t say enough good things about the way the cameramen handle this movie and you’ll see what I mean when you see the opening scene.

We meet Dwayne Johnson’s Agent John Hartley and Ryan Reynolds’ Nolan Booth within the first 10 minutes. Gal Gadot plays the Bishop and the writers introduce her at a great time too. The pacing and camerawork allow for Red Notice to grab all of your attention fairly quickly easing us into the plot. Agent Harley and Nolan Booth spend a lot of time searching for some exotic Egyptian eggs that belong to Cleopatra. They’re very valuable and we follow this cat-and-mouse game that our leads find themselves in with Gal Gadot’s The Bishop. Red Notice takes place in a lot of different exotic locations and the camerawork makes it an experience.

Dwayne Johnson and Ryan Reynolds make for a good comedic duo. Gal Gadot also joins in showing some great comedic timing too. Gadot works well in this role and has a few really funny moments throughout the movie. I love the introduction to Gal Gadot’s The Bishop in the prison scene. There are times throughout Red Notice when I feel like the leads try to out ‘charisma’ to each other. Dwayne Johnson and Ryan Reynolds’ characters rely on charisma and Gadot joins in on this too. I think the actors are genuinely having fun while filming and I wonder how much ad-lib is a part of Red Notice. The scene where we meet The Bishop not only introduces Gadot’s character but also gives us perspective on her power and capability. She took over a prison in an effort to track a treasure to steal. This is a flex on another level and I fully understand the threat she represents at this moment.

The Bad

Red Notice

The writing and dialogue aren’t consistent throughout the movie. There are times when Red Notice is downright cartoony with the situational comedy that really detracts from the experience. Red Notice walks the line of being serious and being humorous but often leans too heavily into humor. Ryan Reynolds has a formula for his movies and his characters that often works. There are also times when his formula is distracting from the overall moment and that happens far too often in Red Notice.

Red Notice is a film that reminds me of other treasure hunting films but isn’t as good. The chemistry between Dwayne Johnson and Ryan Reynolds is certainly hit-or-miss due to them both trying to outperform the other. It’s hard to describe but there are moments throughout Red Notice when you lose the sense of their relationship because of their charisma. You can’t stay mad at either one because they’re both so charming and that lack of narrative clarity is confusing.


Red Notice

Red Notice is an overall fun movie to watch because of the awesome camera work and the fun globetrotting. The film also excels at keeping your attention with the witty one-liners coming from all of the films’ charismatic leads. Gal Gadot, Dwayne Johnson, and Ryan Reynolds all excel at adding to the visual and comedic appeal of Red Notice. The plot is easy to digest but there just isn’t enough that’s appealing to compel a rewatch.

  • Acting - 6/10
  • Cinematography/Visual Effects - 8/10
  • Plot/Screenplay - 6/10
  • Setting/Theme - 7/10
  • Watchability - 7/10
  • Rewatchability - 5/10
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