Red Notice [Grade: 90%]

Director: Rawson Marshall Thurber

Story By: Rawson Marshall Thurber

Cast: Ryan Reynolds, Dwayne Johnson, Gal Gadot, Ritu Arya, & Chris Diamantopoulos

* * *

I still stand my statement that this was a trio that I don’t think anyone knew they needed… Not a bad film, but something felt a little off about it… 

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Below are my grades for key components in #RedNotice that I find to be key in any story/film/series—Theme, Plot, Pacing, and Character (pertaining to arc/development &/or delivery). FYI: My A=95, A- =90, B=85, B-=80…etc. My D- =60 and my F=50

Additionally, I have added an entertainment factor scale to help you determine whether or not the film is something you’d be interested in taking time out of your weekend, evening, or day to watch. The scale range consists of: Worth the Watch/$$$, Interesting Enough (if looking for something new to start, OR experience is intentionally relevant to the genre and executed well–nothing more), Wait for Streaming, Don’t Rush, & Don’t Watch.

I have also added a few non-spoiling thoughts, wonderings, and comments as I watched the film to help give some rationale for my grades and entertainment scale.

* * *

Theme: A

Plot & Story: A-

Pacing: A –

Character: B

* * *

Entertainment Factors

General Public: Interesting Enough

Film Enthusiasts: Don’t Watch

Experience Seekers (via Visuals & Score): Don’t Watch

Action Comedy Fans: Interesting Enough

* * *

TAKEAWAYS:

1. The message that stuck out to me was aligned with the statement, “If you can’t beat them, join them…” I found it to be very straightforward and executed pretty well. 

Act One gives screen time for viewers to see Reynolds’ character in his element, and just why he is someone you really can’t beat. It ends with Reynold’s character getting an unexpected partner.

Act Two spends time developing the new partnership which is directly correlated to the message, showcasing the “joining” of these two skillful individuals. 

By the time we get to Act Three, there’s more “joining” from those who can’t “beat” Reynolds (validated via dialogue in earlier acts) to reach the end which also wraps up the messaging perfectly. 

I mean it was quite strong. 👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾👍🏾

2. I liked seeing Gal Gadot in this role. I definitely want to see what a more seasoned version of this role for Gal Gadot will look like in the future—I hope to see more. 👍🏾

3. Red Notice is a story about a master thief on a mission to make some major money by stealing one of the most valuable art pieces in the world, but his plans are interrupted and detoured when an agent fresh on his heels suddenly gets caught up in the crime. It’s a story that in a way doesn’t feel like it takes itself super seriously, but is fun and has really strong continuity. 

Act One wastes no setting up everything—the history of this art piece, the set up of the conflict, and allowing Reynolds’ character to showcase why he is a “master”…to some extent. Granted, many of the scenes felt SO extra for the sake of action and keeping your attention, but I let it slide due to being choreographed well.

Act Two continues to waste no time with Reynolds and Johnson developing their anti-friendship and partnership (per the message) while continuing to stay on the quest of the master thief which is still centered on this art piece while also layering Johnson’s conflict that is closely aligned. 

The first half of Act Three is action packed and brings our anti-friends / partners in a new partnership (still connected to the art piece and message) with surprise twists and flashbacks towards the end also related to the art piece and message. I mean…the continuity is just super strong again. 

BUT there is a part of Act Three that was completely unnecessary…at the wedding. It can make the entire film feel like a joke. 🥴

4. So what was up with Sotto Voce? 🤨🤷🏾‍♂️

5. I really liked the font and visuals of each new location.👍🏾👍🏾

6. Poor Inspector Das… 😂😂😂

7. I think the best part of the film is seeing the flashbacks with the twist. 👍🏾🙌🏾

8. Chile… that damn first fight choreography… so staged because he could’ve easily been apprehended. 😩🤦🏾‍♂️😂

9. Now outside of the first half of Act Three in the “bunker” which felt a little dead at times, the pacing is really fast and fun. The drone-direction swooping in from above, closing up on characters (though a little incessant), added to this feeling in addition to the action-choreography. 

For a film that, to be honest, lacks true creativity and intrigue, I appreciated the film at least keeping things engaging—especially for the 13-15 age range, due to this being a PG-13 film. 👍🏾

10. On one hand, the flat character arc was executed well; and because of the pacing appreciation, I am okay with how our characters are introduced throughout the story, and how these thieves are simply being said/mentioned as the “top/master thieves” without any real context. But then that is also the issue—the lack of contextual background. Another 20-30 minutes to shed light on our thieves doing their thing, dodging the feds, and then running into this new opportunity would’ve been enough for me. 

There’s also Dwayne Johnson’s character who is well presented in the beginning, but then leaves some questions at the end. 🥴🤷🏾‍♂️👍🏾

* * *

Overall #RedNotice gives Rush Hour – meets Lupin – meets Catch Me If You Can – meets Army of Thieves – meets Dora the Explorer and the Lost City of Gold.

As implied in this review (or maybe blatantly stated…), there’s nothing fresh / innovative / exciting / interesting about this story. We’ve seen variances of this story before, which is why I can’t say that this film is “terrible” or “bad.” It genuinely is a fun-paced, action/crime adventure film with leads who are all familiar with the genre. We just didn’t need it if there wasn’t going to be any new layers added to it. 

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