Red Notice is an alert issued by Interpol that is reserved for capturing the world’s most wanted criminals. In Netflix’s latest original film, those wanted parties are on the hunt for Cleopatra’s three eggs. Given to her as a wedding gift, the eggs are composed of solid gold, silver, and studded with gemstones from top to bottom. One egg was donated to a museum in Rome, another is hidden away in a private collection, and the third has been lost for nearly two thousand years. This won’t stop art thieves from all across the globe from doing their best to steal them.
FBI profiler John Hartley (Dwayne Johnson) has teamed up with Interpol agent Urvashi Das (Ritu Arya), travelling to Rome after receiving a tipoff that the first egg is going to be snatched by art thief Nolan Booth (Ryan Reynolds). However, Hartley finds that the tables have been turned when it is revealed that the recovered egg is a fake. As a result, Hartley is thrown into a prison deep in the Russian mountains, only to discover that his new cellmate is Booth. Whilst incarcerated, the two men receive an unexpected visitor: the true culprit behind Hartley’s framing and the swapping of the egg is none other than “The Bishop” (Gal Gadot), the most notorious thief currently in business and Booth’s primary competition. She reveals her plans to find all three eggs and sell them off for an extremely generous sum and gives Hartley and Booth a chance to join her.
Hartley is desperate to clear his name, and Booth is desperate to reach the egg first and win back the title of the most notorious thief. The only way the two of them can escape the prison and beat The Bishop at her own game is by working together. Neither of them like that idea, but the reluctant partners are both willing to lay their pride on the line and face danger head-on to come out on top. And what’s waiting for them is nothing less than a high-octane, globe-trotting adventure.
With a budget of $200 million, director Rawson Marshall Thurber’s action-comedy Red Notice is not only packed with a star-studded main cast but has also earned the honour of being Netflix’s biggest opening weekend for an original film ever. Despite such high praise and high funds, is the film truly deserving of such popularity? In short, yes. The script itself presents multiple twists – what with two of the three main characters being untrustworthy criminals, it’s only right. The storyline is good, it still feels like another blockbuster action film but that isn’t a bad thing. Thurber’s film is wildly entertaining, pretty to watch, and all the light-hearted banter that is jam-packed into the nearly two-hour runtime is quite impressive.
As usual, Dwayne Johnson delivers a solid performance. He’s likeable, capable, and you can tell how much he enjoyed filming the project. The same goes for Reynolds. He is the shining star of the three leads. Where Reynold’s real self ends and his fictional persona begins is blurred; his sarcastic insults, slapstick humour, backseat comments and the fact that he’s practically the complete opposite of Johnson’s Hartley is the perfect combination to keep viewers constantly laughing. It’s very obvious that the actors get along well behind the scenes and that warm-hearted relationship bleeds over on the screen. As for Gal Gadot, she’s smart, beautiful and kickass, and it’s extremely refreshing to see her taking on a villain role – a trend that seems to be continuing with her casting as the evil stepmother in Disney’s live-action Snow White.
The film is set in multiple locations – Rome, Sardinia, and Paris – and is one of the first Hollywood projects to incorporate the use of drones for cinematography. The spaces where the fight and chase scenes unfold are utilized well, and certainly, increase the level of excitement.
Many portions of Thurber’s piece are reminiscent of other adventure and treasure hunting tales such as National Treasure, Angels and Demons and Indiana Jones. The nods are nice, whether intentional or not, yet the film is unique and fresh enough not to be a copycat.
Perhaps Red Notice isn’t necessarily a film that needed such a mind-blowing budget, but you can’t deny how much fun it is. With another year of the pandemic coming to a close, what more can we ask than that? Netflix seems to have perfected the formula for ‘big hits’ and with an ending that leaves room for more, it will come as no surprise if a sequel is announced within the coming months.
Red Notice is streaming on Netflix
by Kacy Hogg
Kacy is an English Lit student living in the Great White North (no not Winterfell unfortunately), Canada. Her favourite films include the Harry Potter series, Cinderella, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, The Hangover, and Lady Bird. She’s also an avid binge-watcher of Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead. You can follow her on Twitter here: @KacHogg95