For some projects, size definitely matters. I cannot say the same for “Red Notice”, try as it might: it’s ambition is honorable but Netflix does nothing about it to make me believe the film is worth expanding upon.
I gotta say, for Netflix to claim it’s their biggest movie yet is kind of laughable, especially if you consider the production design at play here doesn’t really display the scope and the scale when the story calls for it. On paper and even a little bit in execution, it does as the set-pieces are lavish enough to set off that illusion but this movie is fairly uninterested in supplying any kinds of stakes. There’s no thrills, no sense of adventure or discovery, and everything comes off as plastic because of this.
It’s made even worse thanks to the action sequences. They’re slightly entertaining thanks to the choreography but half of them are squandered thanks to meandering green screen effects and cookie-cutter predictability.
The Rock’s the straight man muscle, Reynolds is the comedic relief and Gadot is the sultry villainess; it’s far from a novel structure especially since all three of them are essentially playing themselves again but it’s enough for these three to play off each others strengths and weaknesses to unfortunately no avail. Character wise, they don’t fair much better since they’re all effectively stereotypes and even worse, barely are given anything of importance to do.
None of the other actors or characters are, either.
In fact, nothing about this movie feels authentic in any sense of the word: it feels strictly like an algorithm with a bucket-list to check off: Rawson Marshall Thurber tries his damnedest to lay the foundation for an 80’s/90’s inspired Indiana Jones-style race but in trying to mimic the success of other films, it offers no fun in it of itself and the absence of any intriguing world-building and tension to the needlessly complicated story cripples any chances of emulation one might have. It tries too hard to be cheesy in this lazy by-the-numbers blockbuster and sure, it does result in a chuckle here and there but by this point, that formula has all but been deflated.
Yes, the cinematography is nothing to write home about and the tone is only just morbidly consistent throughout but even that just collapses due to the over-reliance of twists seen coming a mile away and get more annoying as they pile up. Only one of them actually got me to laugh and that was the final one near the end but I was so zoned out by how lifeless the presentation behind the others were that—ugh.
There isn’t a single memorable line of dialogue like somebody wrung out each sentence using a faulty Word Generator, not much came out of the music, most of the jokes do not land, editing during the action sequences is noticeably abysmal and the pacing can honestly be described as…..poor. In the grand scheme of things, the lack of fluidity and energy to anything made most scenes drag out longer than they should’ve.
I mean, what else am I supposed to say about this?
It’s the same ol’ bollocks Hollywood chucks out time and time again and if you’re able to get enthralled by this vastness of empty air or you want to see Ryan Reynolds spit hot air for no rhyme or reason, that’s fantastic; I’m happy for you. Me personally, this didn’t give me a reason to want to go through the trouble to watch the next one…..so why do I bother?