On Notice

Cr: Frank Masi / Netflix © 2021

By Paul Hall

A red notice is the highest level warrant issued by Interpol. It calls to action a multitude of agencies to find the wanted suspect. In the new film Red Notice, airing now on Netflix, the hunt is on and will take viewers across multiple countries in an attempt to capture one of the world’s most notorious thieves.

FBI profiler John Hartley (Dwayne Johnson) is on the hunt for The Bishop, a criminal who nobody knows but whose crimes are legendary. As the tips lead to someone collecting the three eggs of Cleopatra, the knowledge that one is housed in a museum leads Hartley and Interpol Inspector Urvashi Das (Ritu Arya) to try and stop the crime. But this thief will not be stopped, and as Nolan Booth (Ryan Reynolds) runs from them, a chase begins. Booth is not the Bishop, as he has been in and out of custody many times before. But can he lead them to the master criminal?

The chase leads to the discovery of a number of other criminals, including, of course, the legendary master thief known only as the Bishop. Will Hartley and Das stop one of the greatest heists before it occurs?

Let’s be honest, a combination of Johnson, Reynolds and Gal Gadot is enough to keep everyone’s attention through any film, and their presence alone makes this effort a cut above the rest.

A globe-trotting story allows for some of the moments to cover the expansive landscape of the world as we know it. The settings alone for the film make for some intriguing possibilities.

But despite everything going for the film, it really fell short of what I had hoped would be the result. Backgrounds looked too unrealistic and everything about the film felt a bit off. The early action dragged, and it wasn’t until the film was up and running that I found myself starting to enjoy the actors and their surroundings.

Once things get truly turned over to Johnson, Reynolds and Gadot, the film starts to accelerate to a fun and fast-paced conclusion that leaves you wanting more. And it is that aspect of Red Notice that endears the film to viewers, enabling us to minimize the impact of the tedious moments.

A touch long but an overall satisfying film that falls short of expectations, Red Notice is less a thrilling cross between National Treasure and a Bond film, and instead feels more of a third or fourth sequel to Treasure.

Red Notice serves notice that even with the biggest stars in the world participating in a project, a first-rate success is not a slam dunk. That said, it is still a blockbuster and eminently likable for a movie to check your brain at the door and forget after you’ve seen it.

Paul’s Grade: B-

Red Notice
Rated PG-13
Stars: Dwayne Johnson, Ryan Reynolds, Gal Gadot
Director: Rawson Marshall Thurber