Movie review: Red Notice
RED NOTICE (NC16)
Netflix's most expensive film to date has garnered its biggest ever opening.
We are told that, so far, Red Notice has amassed 148,720,000 hours of views around the world.
Of course, that does not mean every single viewer watched it all the way through.
To be fair, it would be hard for the art heist romp to go wrong, what with a stellar cast led by Dwayne Johnson, Ryan Reynolds and Gal Gadot.
Handily, they do not step out of their oft-seen personas; they may as well go by their own names.
Ryan Reynolds is Ryan Reynolds with every other line a sassy comeback. Some of them land, like asking if prison slop is "farm to table".
But some don't just fall flat, they plummet, and sound desperate.
The response to being told he's going to the worst place in the world is a perplexing, "Where? Your Instagram account?". Cue the crickets.
Some of the physical gags fare better, such as the curtailed car chase or Reynolds failing to copy Johnson's casual glass smashing move.
Johnson is big and brusque, Gadot is alluring and athletic.
The plot is that FBI profiler John Hartley (Johnson) is forced into an uneasy alliance with art thief Nolan Booth (Reynolds) to steal Cleopatra's eggs - ornate golden things, not ones she laid - before master art thief The Bishop (Gadot) beats them to it.
The opening sequence has some stunning use of a first-person view drone as a camera - a first for cinema - taking us in one movement from the rooftops of Rome to Johnson's iconic dome.
The drone also excels in the museum chase, following Booth through tables, chairs and scaffolding.
But while the stunt team references some iconic Jackie Chan moves, they simultaneously highlight how Chan was much better and faster at these things.
Red Notice has never pitched itself as anything other than a fun treasure hunt put together by pals. It's an easy, non-taxing watch.
It isn't particularly memorable though, and I'm not sure how it cost US$200 million (S$272 million). But that's for the accountants.
If you can't see any of the twists coming in this yarn then you must be new to this kind of tale. And frankly, that is how much of Red Notice comes across - 'My First Art Heist Film'.
It's a starter kit that could lead to more classic examples of the genre. Expect sequels galore. - JONATHAN ROBERTS
score : 3/5
Get The New Paper on your phone with the free TNP app. Download from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store now