Movie Review: Red Notice (English)

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Red Notice (English) Review {3.5/5} & Review Rating

RED NOTICE is the story of an officer trying to catch an art thief. Special Agent John Heartley (Dwayne Johnson) of the FBI reaches Rome along with his Interpol colleague Inspector Urvashi Das (Ritu Arya). They straight away head to a renowned museum in the Italian city and inform the management that a priceless artefact, Cleopatra’s Egg, is about to be stolen. The manager rubbishes off the claims. This is when John Heartley realizes that he’s late and that the artefact has already been stolen by the world-renowned art thief, Nolan Booth (Ryan Reynolds). John manages to track him down in Bali. He arrests him and also retrieves the Egg from Nolan. Unknown to John, The Bishop (Gal Gadot) infiltrates into the Interpol commando team that had arrived to arrest Nolan. She smartly replaces Cleopatra’s Egg with a fake and escapes with the real artefact. She also manages to wire millions of dollars into John’s account. Hence, Inspector Das is convinced that John is behind the robbery. She gets him arrested and he’s sent to a prison in Russia where his cell mate is none other than Nolan. Both want to desperately escape the prison. While John wants to prove his innocence, Nolan wants to steal the second Cleopatra’s Egg which is kept in the residence of an arms dealer Sotto Voce (Chris Diamantopoulos) in Valencia. Sotto has used extensive security features and hence, stealing the Egg from there is next to impossible. John and Nolan escape from the jail, team up and manage to infiltrate into the room where the Egg is stored. But as luck would have it, Bishop arrives there, determined to steal the Egg and also steal the thunder from the duo once again. What happens next forms the rest of the film.

Rawson Marshall Thurber’s story has all the trappings of a commercial entertainer. It’ll also give a déjà vu of DHOOM 2 [2006] to the Indian audiences. Rawson Marshall Thurber’s screenplay is entertaining and doesn’t have a single dull moment. There’s laughter or action in most scenes. A couple of scenes are emotional but even these have been treated in a light-hearted manner. However, this is a mindless caper and hence, the logic goes out of the window. Also, each act follows a template and hence by the time the film reaches the pre-climax, it becomes predictable to an extent. Rawson Marshall Thurber’s dialogues are hilarious and one of the strengths of the film. The ones mouthed by Ryan Reynolds especially bring the house down.

Rawson Marshall Thurber’s direction is supreme. He doesn’t waste time and incorporates a lot in just 115 minutes of run time. How the narrative jumps from Rome to Bali to Russia to Valencia, etc is seen to be believed. But what works the best is the unusual chemistry shared by the three actors. The trio is at loggerheads and yet share some sort of chemistry and this is a very unique aspect of this film. On the flipside, several sequences are very convenient and viewers would have to understand that there’s no logic to what’s unfolding on the screen. Also, the way the film reaches the finale, one expects fireworks. However, the ending is abrupt with the promise of a sequel. This might be disappointing for a section of viewers.

RED NOTICE’s intro scene and opening credits are stylishly done and set the mood. The madness at the Rome sequence is funny and thrilling. The Bali sequence is surprising as one doesn’t expect John to catch Nolan so soon. The prison sequence is hilarious and the manner in which John and Nolan escape is nail-biting. The best part of the first half and even the film is reserved in the Valencia episode when John and Nolan fight off the Bishop. Post-interval, the bullfight sequence raises laughs. The pre-climax and climax are entertaining but also slightly predictable although the twist in the tale does catch you unawares. The finale is sudden and one doesn’t expect the film to get over so soon.

Speaking of performances, all the three main actors have brought in the star power and have done really well. Dwayne Johnson is apt for such a part. His comic timing and his action add to the fun and he also doesn’t attempt to overpower the other two actors. Ryan Reynolds is too good and gets the best lines in the film. His character is a bit child-like and yet again, he attempts to ensure that his act stands out, like the way he did in the recently released film FREE GUY. He also gets to do his share of action although his comic quotient is more memorable. Gal Gadot is stunning and gives yet another memorable performance. She has less screen time than the two male actors but compensates for it with her acting prowess, action and the oomph factor that she brings to the film. Ritu Arya puts on a confident act. Chris Diamantopoulos is decent.

Steve Jablonsky’s music is cinematic and has an adventurous feel. Markus Förderer’s cinematography is breathtaking and the way he has taken the long shots in a novel style enhances the impact. Andy Nicholson’s production design is first-rate. Mary E Vogt’s costumes are very rich and treat to the eyes, especially the ones worn by Gal Gadot. VFX matches global standards. The action is not at all disturbing and goes with the family-friendly genre of the film. It is also smartly and entertainingly choreographed. Julian Clarke and Michael L. Sale’s editing is quite slick.

On the whole, RED NOTICE is a paisa vasool entertainer that rests on the writing, direction and the star power and able performances of Dwayne Johnson, Ryan Reynolds and Gal Gadot. Had it been released in cinemas, it would have been a huge grosser.

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