Yes. You’re reading this correctly. I’m giving 37% Tomatometer and certified rotten film RED NOTICE a higher score than THE POWER OF THE DOG. That’s how much I disliked THE POWER OF THE DOG.
But I digress. RED NOTICE isn’t a “good” movie or anything, but it is actually pretty fun! It’s not like the script for this has to be Shakespeare, and going in with below-average expectations, I found myself surprised at how decently charming and clever it got at times – at least more so than it had any right to be. The movie is literally carried by Ryan Reynolds, who proves himself just as funny and charming in his “Ryan Reynolds” way here as he is in DEADPOOL or even FREE GUY (though obviously, FREE GUY is a legitimately great movie, while RED NOTICE is simply acceptable, chuckle-worthy entertainment). And while I’m not a huge fan of Gal Gadot’s “acting,” she emotes so much better here than I’ve ever seen in previous films – the poorly acted WONDER WOMAN films, for instance. She has a knack for being devilishly roguish. As for The Rock (I’m never going to acknowledge him as Dwayne Johnson, lol), he’s got the short end of the stick being merely the straight man to Reynolds and Gadot, who are clearly having the most fun.
The action isn’t great, and the direction and visuals get hokey here and there. But I laughed. It’s pretty funny at times. And that’s not at all surprising considering director Rawson Marshall Thurber has been responsible for some legitimately funny classics like DODGEBALL and WE’RE THE MILLERS. It’s also a lot funnier than the horrible CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE and more entertaining than SKYSCRAPER, other Thurber/Rock films. But again, it’s all carried by Reynold’s sharp wit and comedic timing.
This could have been a new RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK classic in the hands of a more talented director and writers. The mythology behind the McGuffin of the film (the three eggs of Cleopatra) is pretty solid. And how and where their quest takes them is fun, if not cliched. And I was more on board for this as a treasure hunting film than what I’ve seen so far for the upcoming UNCHARTED adaptation starring Tom Holland. However, the overt silliness and “been-there-done-that” nature of it all drags it down solely into “if you have time, there are worse ways to spend 2 hours” territory.
Overall, again, not great, but not bad either. One of Netflix’s most watchable films.
RED NOTICE is on Netflix now for you to chuckle through!