The Reel Review
The FBI’s top criminal profiler teams up with the world’s greatest art thief after an Interpol-issued, highest level arrest warrant – a Red Notice – is issued, in this Netflix crime caper starring Dwayne Johnson and Ryan Reynolds. Their target? The world’s most wanted art thief, The Bishop (Gal Gadot).
Red Notice has a comic vibe reminiscent of Paul Feig’s 2015 Melissa McCarthy/Rose Byrne espionage spoof Spy, with a cute nod to Raiders of the Lost Ark. But while it falls way short of both of those other films’ charm and wit, this big budget extravaganza still has enough action, snarky chuckles and compelling leads to make it a fun, mindless watch. It’s fun seeing Gadot playing the villain and Johnson and Reynolds have entertaining onscreen chemistry.
As the film wears on, the increasingly fake exotic CGI wears thin. (The bullfighting scene in Valencia, Spain is particularly lame.) And while Red Notice is the cinematic equivalent of fast food, tasting great but with little nutritional value, it’s still fun enough in its own right for fans of its leads who also have a couple of hours to kill.
• With a budget of about $200 million, Red Notice is Netflix’s biggest budget to date for a feature film, with $60 million of that being split among its three leads.
• Despite all the exotic locales – Rome, Bali, Cairo, Sardinia, etc. – many of the sites were filmed in Atlanta, which doubled for the locations.
• Red Notice is Dwayne Johnson’s third collaboration with director Rawson Marshall Thurber, after 2016’s Central Intelligence and 2018’s Skyscraper.