This week on "Justin Hall At The Movies," I'll be reviewing Dwayne Johnson as he's on the trail of both Ryan Reynolds and Gal Gadot in "Red Notice."
Red Notice is an action comedy that's been given a limited release before debuting on Netflix November 12th. Reportedly, it has the largest budget in Netflix history with $160 million and given the trifecta of star power, I'm assuming a lot of it went towards their salaries because the script should've had more time to work.
Dwayne Johnson stars as FBI agent John Hartley on the trail of an art thief who has stolen a priceless artifact called Cleopatra's Three Eggs. They've been lost for centuries, but only the first two have recently reemerged. The third one is still MIA.
He finds the thief, Nolan Booth (Ryan Reynolds) at the beginning with the third egg which leads him on an admittedly thrilling action sequence with elaborate stuntwork and the occasional quip from Reynolds straight our of Deadpool's arsenal. More on that on a moment.
Hartley eventually catches up with Booth and has him arrested, but then the proverbial twist is that Hartley winds up the egg and both are arrested and sent to prison. This is where the chemistry somewhat blossoms between the two and we do get occasional moments where we can see that they might bond before the movie is over.
They find out that the real theif of the egg is a mysterious woman named The Bishop (Gal Gadot) who plans on giving it to the King of Egypt as a wedding present for her daughter. Both men think she has something sinister up her sleeve and then devise an escape plan. I wonder how that's gonna turn out. I just answered my own question.
Red Notice is a movie that doesn't demand a whole lot out of its target audience. It's a slick-looking action movie with some impressive stunts and a funny moment here or there, but the story is mishmash of genre conventions that are formulaic through and through.
It relies too heavily on double-reverse plotting and then throws in the bombastic action scenes when the plot knows it's dragging itself down.
The cast seemed to have more fun making it than we do seeing it. Not to mention, Johnson and Reynolds are doing borderline parodies of their other movies and characters especially Reynolds who just can't seem to let go of Deadpool/Free Guy sense of humor.
I guess I shouldn't be too hard on Red Notice, but given the talent is stranded in material that feels forced and unoriginal, the only the thing they steal is 115 minutes.
(Rated PG-13 for violence and action, sexual references and strong language.)