For a while now, Netflix has been able to garner the absolute cream of the crop for their shows and movies. Until Don’t Look Up comes out in December, Red Notice holds the crown for the absolute most star power in one film to grace the streaming service. While it stars Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Ryan Reynolds, and Gal Gadot, the star power they bring does absolutely nothing to rescue this from being a total disaster of a movie.
Reynolds is determined to find and steal all three of Cleopatra’s eggs so that he can sell them for a ton of money, and The Rock, who is working for the FBI, is determined to stop him until he is framed by Gadot’s The Bishop. The plot of the movie tries to be full of twists and turns that you can see coming from a mile away, and yet takes a ridiculous amount of time to explain to the audience what they already knew 15 minutes earlier.
The biggest issue with this movie isn’t the plot though, it’s how janky and dissatisfying almost every single action scene is. Not only do they ruin most fight scenes with unnecessary cuts, but they absolutely botch what should have been an insanely brutal fight scene in a Russian prison. The Rock is outed as a cop, and a huge Russian gangster steps up to fight him.
While this doesn’t seem noteworthy at all, the actor who plays this hulking Russian badass is Daniel Bernhardt, who has one of the most memorable fight scenes against Bill Hader (stay with me) in HBO’s Barry. Instead of having him have a real scrap with The Rock, he throws a roundhouse kick, knocks down Hartley, guards jump in, and the whole thing is over in less than five seconds. It’s a waste of potential for a great scene.
None of these issues or problems are going to matter to Netflix at all though, as they claim that the Rawson Marshall Thurber-led film was the most-watched title in its first 24 hours in streaming services history. With a reported budget of $200 million, and close to half of that going to the top 3 actors and the director, Netflix will have absolutely no problem producing a sequel to this mediocre flick, and most will lap it right up.
Alex is a movie lover and co-host of the Furloughed Film Talks Podcast. You can find him and his podcast on Twitter @alexfkelly1