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Friday, April 19, 2024

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Red Notice: High Octane And A Lot Of Mindless Fun

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Red notice is a 2021 American action-comedy film written by Rawson Marshall Thurber. Featuring Dwayne Johnson aka ‘the rock’, Ryan Reynolds, and Gal Gadot. Those actors will be playing the lead role in this new movie. One of the supposed beauties of Netflix, and all other streamers with access to such vast resources, is that without the panicked need for box office success, there’s a certain freedom that’s then afforded. The risks that might be deemed too precarious in the global marketplace (Too original? Too adult? Too gay?)

Getting in their way is the world’s most wanted art thief called The Bishop (Gal Gadot) who always seems to be one step ahead.

After being framed, Hartley needs to team up with Booth to clear his name. This is a mismatched buddy movie. Reynolds is untrustworthy and quick with the wisecracks. The Rock is there for the action scenes although you might raise an eyebrow when he gets a beating from Gadot.

It is high octane and a lot of mindless fun. I rather enjoyed it. The Nazi vehicle car chase is on the silly side. It does have plenty of CGI, mainly due to a lack of international location shooting because of Covid.

Are no longer of such prioritised concern and thus big budgets can be allocated to biggish bets. It’s why Netflix was confident to take on Martin Scorsese’s $160m crime saga The Irishman after Paramount deemed it too expensive and why the streamer also spent $70m to kick off the Old Guard franchise with a diverse cast and a central, uncensored queer romance. Both paid off (the films rank among the streamers most-watched) and showed that a brave new world away from the safe repetition of homogeneous superheroes, remakes and superhero remakes might be possible.

Red Notice is a caper movie. John Hartley (Dwayne Johnson) is a profiler who is after art thief Nolan Booth (Ryan Reynolds) over three ancient fabled jewelled eggs given to Cleopatra.

So with the arrival of Red Notice, a film that allegedly cost upwards of $200m, making it Netflix’s biggest budget to date, one might hope for something slightly out of the ordinary, a much-needed tweak on what a traditional studio might otherwise lazily offer. But what makes the film so maddening, along with many, many other reasons, is that it’s the most boringly indistinctive patchwork job we’ve seen for a long while, a beige piece of committee-approved product that slums from point A to point B to who cares. Like an increasing number of the streamer’s mass-market offerings, the overriding message appears to be: see, we can make films just as badly as everyone else! So much for the great disruptor …

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