Red Notice

[3.5 stars]

Looking for some empty calories with some action and belly laughs? Red Notice may be predictable and silly but it probably would fit the bill. In fact, it’s about all you could hope for in a soft-R comedy heist film with Ryan Reynolds (6 Underground), Dwayne Johnson (Young Rock), and Gal Gadot (Wonder Woman 1984) in the leads. Somehow, their egos and personalities all balance out perfectly without allowing any one of them to dominate the tale.

That’s quite an achievement given the charisma of each of these stars individually. And writer/director Rawson Marshall Thurber (Skyscraper) actually went one better by crafting a nicely twisting story that moves at a brisk pace for its entire two hours.

He even manages to help Ritu Arya (Umbrella Academy) hold her own  against the lead behemoths, despite her diminutive stature and her besieged and constantly outwitted Interpol detective character. She adds an energy and some nice friction to the proceedings. The rest of the cast are throw away or only brief encounters, but there are some nice bits in there.

Is this the best heist film ever? No, not even close. But to watch the three leads have fun and bounce off one another is a great escape. Not that any one of them is doing anything new, they’re just doing it together. Thurber’s ability to balance their various styles even redeems (somewhat) his earlier efforts and shows potential.

This is clearly a stake in the ground for a franchise, and it’s one I’d be back to watch. Unlike a lot of similar films (like Fast & Furious) there’s a bit more character and plot meat to keep me engaged…and some more thought beyond what is the next biggest stunt they can design. Though don’t get me wrong, there are some huge stunts in this story too.

So pop the corn and sit back and enjoy. This will be exactly what you think and hope, and perhaps just a bit more. Either way, it was a fun ride.

Red Notice Poster

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