Red Notice is the 2021 Netflix Original action/adventure/comedy film starring Dwayne "The Rock Johnson, Ryan Reynolds, and Gal Gadot. Written and directed by Rawson Marshall Thurber (Skyscraper, Central Intelligence), the movie follows two infamous art thieves and one framed cop who try to uncover the three ancient eggs gifted to Cleopatra.
Of all the movies I've seen this year, this is the most recent. It's hard to watch this movie to the very end. The biggest draw of the film is the A-list cast, who basically showed up to play themselves. With Reynolds playing comic, Dwayne playing straight man, and Gal playing the femme fatale. The weakest performance goes to Gadot, one of the most photogenic faces in Hollywood. Gal is utterly vacant in some scenes that it becomes comical. Let's say if Ana de Armas had been in her position, we might be seeing a much more believable character on-screen — Armas knows how to act. A point goes to Dir. Thurber for Reynolds's character, a much-needed comedy relief, especially the banter between Reynolds and Johnson — "Why are you wearing a hairnet? You're bald".
Deep pockets. Netflix had an enormous amount of money injected into this production, with the budget amounting to a whopping 200 million USD — 20 million each went to the three A-list headliners. Putting it into perspective, that's a bigger budget than the critically acclaimed Dune (Denis Villeneuve) — which had a budget of 160 Million USD. Back to Red Notice, besides the cast salaries, where did all that budget go? Due to COVID, Red Notice was not filmed on location — CGI is relied heavily on to make up for it, with fake backdrops of famous landscapes and monuments.
Underwhelming. The use of a drone camera in fight scenes does the opposite of its intended effect, it actually takes you out of the action. Performing all sorts of maneuvers that would've probably worked for a full-fledged Hardcore Henry-esque film, but feels out of place here — it's over-stylized and inconsistently used. The cinematography is lacking, rudimentary and highly saturated — providing nothing new aesthetically to separate itself from other action/adventure films. Then there's the boring storyline, which is utterly uninspired. The heist plans become so convoluted that it removes the fun and excitement out of heists.