PG Score: 6.5/10
Red Notice is available for streaming on Netflix
Writer/Director Rawson Marshall Thurber (Dodgeball and Skyscraper) plays it safe in the comedic crime caper, but still includes some enjoyable action and connects on a handful of punchlines. While Red Notice does little to move the needle for Netflix originals, the chemistry between the trio of stars prevents it from falling to pedestrian status.
The streaming giant’s latest blockbuster follows FBI Profiler John Hartley (Dwayne Johnson) as he embarks on an international pursuit of the world’s most notorious art thief, The Bishop (Gal Gadot). In order to apprehend her, he resorts to unconventional means by partnering with another crook, Nolan Booth (Ryan Reynolds).
The action is mostly standard fare with Hartley and Booth engaging in plenty of hand-to-hand fighting and shootouts. The light PG-13 rating keeps the bodily damage to a minimum for both the unlikely pair and their pursuers. While anything remotely resembling actual carnage is far from expected, the fact that countless bullets are fired and a bevy of blows are exchanged to little avail becomes difficult to ignore. Nevertheless, the pacing remains at full tilt throughout and makes those types of hindrances easier to swallow. A select few chase sequences comprise the movie’s highlight reel and contain the level of spectacle that is worth tuning in for.
Reynolds and Johnson maintain amusing rapport for the duration of the two-hour runtime. The former brings his trademark humor to another eccentric character, and the latter plays the straight man with confidence. Their banter is filled with rapid-fire quips that do not always land but are quite effective when they do. Gadot complements the cast of Red Notice as the wily outlaw, despite having markedly less screen time than her co-stars.
Unfortunately, Thurber does not take enough risks to elevate the movie to a higher caliber. He takes the easy route at almost every juncture, reducing many scenes to a predictable nature. While the entertainment value remains intact, a bolder approach would have been met with open arms.
In his newest film, Rawson Marshall Thurber relies a bit too heavily on the cast’s considerable star power instead of taking a more daring course to gain separation from a slew of other action comedies. The global heist adventure will not make any most wanted lists, but Red Notice covers enough ground to warrant viewer investigation.
PG Score: 6.5/10