“Red Notice” is directed by Rawson Marshal Thurber and stars Dwayne Johnson, Ryan Reynolds and Gal Gadot in an action-packed tale of art thieves and Interpol agents. As one would expect from a movie with such cast, “Red Notice” is a fun action-adventure flick with not much else under its name.
The movie suffers from a problem that plagues both Johnson and Reynolds movies. In “Red Notice,” Johnson is playing a character that is thinner than paper. The same can be said for Reynolds who basically plays the same character he has been playing ever since “Deadpool.” To add to the unimaginative one-dimensional protagonists is Gadot’s deadpan delivery that can make anyone wonder how she even got any acting job to begin with. Johnson and Reynolds are playing clichéd stereotypes of themselves and do not seem to even be enjoying themselves while doing so. Gadot does not help the movie by also providing an unbelievably bland and boring antagonist.
The movie suffers from thinking that putting three popular actors that are generally liked together will make an entertaining movie. Just because the movie scored certain actors that test well with audiences, does not mean that most of the job is done.
Aside from acting that feels like walking through thick mud, “Red Notice” offers mediocre action sequences and scenes that somehow fail to remain interesting. The action scenes are unimaginative and average. While some audience members might be entertained by someone shooting a gun or throwing punches, anyone who expects even a semblance of cleverness or skill when it comes to writing, choreographing, filming or directing an action scene will be disappointed. To make matters worse, the action scenes are so bad they even fail at being funny or being taken light-heartedly. While other action movies succeed at crafting goofy scenes that are self-aware, “Red Notice” seems painfully cringe-worthy.
There are also a number of problems when it comes to the plot. The overall plot of the movie is absurd and ridiculous, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. When movies have plots of this sort, like the “Kingsman” movies, they embrace the silliness and bolster it with impressive action sequences and an overall awareness of the product they are delivering. “Red Notice” is simply absurd with nothing to back it up or make up for it. This makes the movie hard to care about and get invested in, especially when such ridiculous plot points are executed with mediocre fight scenes and embarrassing VFX.
Another problem with this movie is that throughout the boring story and equally draining action set pieces, there is a constant flow of forced jokes and quips that miss the target every time. It is almost like the movie thinks that anything coming out of Reynold’s mouth is pure gold, when it is really far from it. With a little bit of polishing and more than five minutes in the writing room, some of the jokes could have ended up being funny.
There are movies that can compel their audiences to turn off their brains and enjoy the flashy action but “Red Notice” cannot even get there. Although there are some parts of the movie that could be called entertaining, the movie largely fails to keep the interest or attention of its audience. All three big-name actors offer performances that are bound to make eyes roll with a danger of them not rolling back. The lack of imagination and excitement make this movie something worse than a brainless action movie. Although some audiences are bound to enjoy the movie regardless, this movie is best enjoyed as background noise while something more entertaining is happening in the room.