Starring Dwayne Johnson, Ryan Reynolds, and Gal Gadot.
Directed by Rawson Marshall Thurber
Rating: * ½
Apart from a very funny special appearance by a major musician at the end ,Red Notice is an exceptionally unfunny woefully disengaging thriller. It’s like the Dhoom franchise gone horribly wrong in spite of three of the most charismatic stars doing their best to convince us that they are having fun doing a heist actioner that is potentially a winner on paper.
Sorrily, heist makes waste in Red Notice. The dumbness of the chic charade hits you hard. How can so much charisma be put to such colossal waste? Reynolds whose last release Free Guy was bad enough, gets worse. I couldn’t figure out whether he seemed more tired or his jokes.
To his credit Dwayne Johnson takes all of Reynolds’ insults on his chin. In the first 30 minutes Reynolds calls Johnson ‘Baldylocks’. He also calls Johnson “a well-dressed wall”, comments that the back of Johnson’s head looks like a huge penis(in what way, I couldn’t tell) and threatens to send Johnson’s mother a picture of Johnson “mouth-sexing a goat”
Whether Reynolds actually has such a picture in his possession is not clear. I suspect not. Reynolds is constantly lying.Not that we care for the truth here .Nothing is comprehensible in this vomit of a film where three major superstars got together to make some quick bucks caring little that the quivering concoction make them look like fools. None more so than the gorgeous Gal Gadot who tries to act saucy sassy and sexy and ends up looking desperate to please. All three superstars play jewel thieves out to get a priceless egg-shaped jewel that Anthony presumably gifted Cleopatra.If only he knew what was in store.
I am not too sure if our trio of superstars read up on Egyptian history before doing this farcical film. Or maybe they just made do with watching Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor , both of whom were charming even in the worst of circumstances. I wonder if they could have made Red Notice work. I doubt it. Things can’t get any worse than this. The plot is plastered with preposterous loopholes and ridiculous stunts.
In one sequence when a missile is hurled at a chopper carrying Johnson , it passes through one door and out of the other.At one point in the fights with the baddies Reynolds hurls a snowball as a weapon. Oh, and both Johnson and Reynolds have Daddy issues.
“My dad was a criminal so I became a cop. Your dad was a cop so you became a criminal,” explains Johnson to Reynolds in all seriousness(Johnson always looks serious even when he is put in a film as wretchedly flippant as this).
Can’t figure which is worse: the amateur psychology or the juvenile direction.
There is a villain named Sotto Voce whose speciality is strangling his opponents. The choke, as you can see, is on the actors of this dressy balderdash.
Oh, there is an actress of Indian origin Ritu Arya cast as a CBI office. Everyone calls her ‘Inspector Das’ but for reasons best known to the scrappy scriptwriters she gives her orders in Spanish.When she threatens to take Ryan Reynolds to the worst place he can imagine, he quips, “Your Instagram account?”
There is actually a much worse place to be in: this film.