Red Notice: action comedy hits the mark but doesn't go much further

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By Flora Guildford, Social Media Manager for 'The Croft'

There's something so reliable about Ryan Reynolds films - After the hilarious The Hitman's Bodyguard (2017) and the surprisingly heart-warming Free Guy (2021), when another action comedy comes along with Reynolds in the lead we can be somewhat reassured. Red Notice is no exception. Of course, it's not an inherently slick or complex film; the elements of mystery aren't at all meticulous. But it's that element of predictability, cheap humour and light-hearted fun that makes these kinds of films ever more comforting.

Reynolds stars alongside Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson and Gal Gadot, which I must admit, is a brilliant trio - they bounce off each other and react ever so well to each other's quips (even when they're not quite as funny as the screenwriters may have intended). I suppose this film is very evidently type-cast; Reynolds and Johnson seem to play the same character in every film they do. But then again, it works.

Courtesy of IMDB

Although there are times where Johnson's acting isn't completely up to scratch, and he just seems... disinterested. Perhaps that was intended, although I highly doubt it. Despite this, there is still chemistry between the actors, and I think they both fit the roles they play very well.

The chase scenes in this film are absolutely spectacular. There were points where I felt myself holding my breath watching Reynolds navigate his way up scaffolding with Johnson hot on his tail. Some elements seemed even Bond inspired. In these scenes, director Rawson Marshall Thurber cleverly plays off the actors in a comedic way - a trait I recognise from some of his previous work like We're The Millers (2013) - and uses the extreme contrast in Johnson and Reynold's builds to create moments of humour; for example, Nolan Booth elegantly leaps from a ledge and bounces off the gazebo of a market stall, and shortly after we see John Hartley plough through it with full force.

Courtesy of IMDB

I think one flaw with this film is the repetitiveness of The Bishop. Yes, the twists and turns seem clever when you don't pay too much attention or ponder much on them afterwards, but there's only so many times you can use the classic 'aha! I was one step ahead of you all along and knew you would choose to do this!' in a film such as this. It works well with Booth and Hartley's altercation with Sotto Voce (Chris Diamantopoulos), creating some quite excellent plot points; a classic case of 'small man syndrome', but also quite powerless under the strong and intelligent woman that is The Bishop. But as the film continues, it just gets boring and predictable.

Maybe 'plot' is a bit of a stretch when describing this film. The Indiana-Jones-esque feel of the search for the missing eggs is sustainable and a good foundation, but there are times where the film seems like it's trailing off into a bizarre and surreal place - for example, the unexplainably random scene where Booth and Hartley appear in a bull ring. In addition, when the location of the third egg is revealed, I actually laughed out loud - and unfortunately not in a good way. When I sat down to watch this film, I certainly didn't think it would end in a search for hidden Nazi treasure.

Courtesy of IMDB

Although there are parts of this review that seem scathing, I can't deny that I was entertained by this film. This is not a film that will go down in history as something ground-breaking or thought-provoking, and it certainly doesn't run smoothly. Nevertheless, it brings light humour, action and a fast pace that means it's consumed easily and entertains no matter what.

Featured Image: IMDB


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