Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Red Notice (2021)

Streaming Service: Netflix
Movie Name/Year: Red Notice (2021)
Genre: Action, Comedy, Crime
Length: 115 minutes
Rating: PG-13
Production/Distribution: Bad Version, Flynn Picture Company, Legendary Entertainment, Netflix, Seven Bucks Productions
Director: Rawson Marshall Thurber
Writer: Rawson Marshall Thurber
Actors: Dwayne Johnson, Gal Gadot, Ryan Reynolds, Ritu Arya, Bobby Blish, Bradford Norris, Brandon Parker, Brenna Marie Narayan, Chris Diamantopoulos, Christopher Cocke, Daniel Bernhardt, Ivan Mbakop, Jay Romero, Jeramie Julian, Kazi Maubert, Melissa Kennemore, MWW Michael Wilkerson, Noah Bain Garret, Pascal Petardi, Rawson Marshall Thurber, Robert Tinsley, Sebastien Large, Seth Michaels, Shane Berengue, Tom Choi, Victoria Paige Watkins, Vincenzo Amato, Yasmine Habib, Yosef Podolski, Zach Catanzareti
Metacritic Blurb: 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).

Selina’s Point of View:
Red Notice was everything I expected and hoped for.
Upon seeing the trailer, I knew exactly what kind of film Red Notice would be. A hilarious, turn-your-brain-off, action-filled, heist flick. I didn’t expect it to change the cinematic landscape, but I knew it would be fun.
As per usual with this kind of film, critics missed the point.
Look at the Rotten Tomatoes scores. Critics are bringing it to an abysmal 33%, but audiences are riding the hilarity all the way to a 91% (as of 11/16/21). I’ve mentioned how I feel about discrepancies that wide.
It’s like critics forget what being a casual movie fan is.

There’s nothing wrong with a movie that exists just to entertain. That’s what Red Notice does. You get the sass of Ryan Reynolds (Free Guy, Deadpool, Life), mixed with the wit of Dwayne Johnson (Jungle Cruise, Rampage, The Fate of the Furious), and a dash of Gal Gadot’s (Wonder Woman, Criminal, Ralph Breaks the Internet) class. It WORKS. I spent the majority of the near 2-hour runtime laughing my ass off. There isn’t a critic in the world who could convince me that’s wrong.
To go a little deeper, though, I didn’t just enjoy Red Notice for the comedy. The action sequences were great, the fight choreography was satisfying, and I thought there was some significantly good writing involved.

A lot of media utilizes foreshadowing in an awful manner. Every mention, or twist, can become predictable so easily. That didn’t happen in Red Notice. The foreshadowing was a lot more subtle. I’ll admit, they went a little over-the-top in the end. Those last couple of twists were a bit convoluted. It brought the story to a ridiculous place, but it still felt more ‘caricature’ than full-on parody.
It would bother me, but I think that was the aforementioned point that the critics are missing.
I feel like Red Notice is meant to be a caricature of heist films. Not unlike the way Shaun of the Dead (2004) is a caricature of the zombie sub-genre, and The Cabin in the Woods (2011) is of the… well… cabin-in-the-woods sub-genre.
Red Notice is worth it if you’re looking for a fun, easy watch. If you’ve had a rough day (work sucks, the pandemic sucks, politics sucks), and you just want to chill – turn this on. It should raise your spirits.

Cat’s Point of View:
I have been looking forward to Red Notice since I learned the movie was in production. I’m happy to say that this comedic and action-packed heist flick was definitely worth the wait. My 18-year-old even watched with me, and we were both thoroughly entertained.
Red Notice is another movie where you have to wonder if the critics were watching the same film. I just don’t understand all the hate that has been lobbed in Red Notice’s direction. Seriously. Ignore all the professional stiffs and take a gander at the audience reviews. The overwhelming majority appreciated what a fun ride Red Notice was.
Hats off to writer-director Rawson Marshall Thurber (We're The Millers, Central Intelligence, Skyscraper) for delivering a laugh-a-minute adventure with everything you would expect from a blockbuster action film, while also providing such a visual treat. Some have complained about the CGI backgrounds and the like. I was so engrossed in the entertainment of it all that I didn’t even really notice. The swooping drone-shot footage didn’t even put me off. Seriously, though, a good chunk of the film was actually shot in Georgia, USA. I couldn’t tell the difference between those sequences and the international locations.

I absolutely adore this cast. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I’m sure.
If you were craving more of the banter and interaction between Ryan Reynolds (Criminal, The Hitman's Bodyguard, Pokémon Detective Pikachu) and Dwayne Johnson (Moana, Rampage, Ballers) along the lines of their brief bits together in Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw (2019), Red Notice is pretty much a whole movie that captures the essence of that vibe.
That being said, Gal Gadot (Triple 9, Keeping Up with the Joneses, Ralph Breaks the Internet) was no slouch and certainly wasn’t an afterthought. She excels in the role of femme fatale – though, no one really seemed to experience anything actually fatal in this production. We’ll come back to that. Gadot’s character worked well as a driving force to keep Reynolds and Johnson’s characters on their toes and moving forward. Red Notice did well to highlight everything she’s well-known for, and then some.

Let’s return to bullets without a bloody body count – I was actually a bit impressed. Just picture a bunch of Star Wars (1977) stormtroopers out of uniform and in an Indiana Jones movie. No one really hits anything even though people are shooting everywhere. I loved it.
By the way, I both heard and saw what you did there Red Notice. The homage was duly noted and greatly appreciated.
There were so many great little quotable quips, and the story took plenty of twists and turns. I didn’t see most of that ending coming at all. There were layers and nuance beneath the laughs and action. I will likely watch this again just to see if I can catch all the little clues scattered throughout.
When you get right down to it, contrary to popular critic belief, Red Notice was most certainly not just a 200 million dollar commercial for Dwayne Johnson & Ryan Reynolds’ respective alcohol brands. Netflix delivered a blockbuster-worthy original that lived up to the fun and action promised by its trailers and promotion. Red Notice was 100% worth my time and subscription, and I sincerely hope that this means that this trio will deliver more streaming gold for us in the future.
Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 35%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 91%
Metascore –37%
Metacritic User Score – 5.9/10
IMDB Score – 6.4/10
Trust the Dice: Selina’s Rating – 4.5/5
Trust the Dice: Cat’s Rating – 4.5/5
P.S. There are no post-credit scenes, however, there is a single spoken line by Gal Gadot at the end of the credits. Also, the IMDb trivia tidbit that mentions the QR code on an invitation shown within the movie is correct. If you scan the QR code, it will lead you to a video of bloopers from Red Notice.
Movie Trailer:

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