This month’s movie pick is Red Notice, a straight-to-streaming Netflix movie starring Ryan Reynolds, Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson, and Gal Gadot. The movie is all about thievery and impressively convoluted art heists.
Nolan Booth (Ryan Reynolds) and the mysterious Bishop (Gal Gadot) try to get their hands on Cleopatra’s bejeweled eggs while dodging Interpol and collecting a $300 million payout from an Egyptian billionaire.
What is a red notice anyway?
As the movie’s opening credits so helpfully explain, a red notice is the highest-level arrest warrant Interpol can place and is usually reserved for the world’s most wanted criminals.
Interpol’s website seems to disagree with the movie’s definition, though, and explicitly states red notices are not arrest warrants. The website clarifies that a red notice is more of an arrest request to local law enforcement around the globe. They contain information about who is wanted by Interpol and why.
Heists are like a puzzle… Some of these pieces just didn’t fit
Red Notice is a really fun movie, but a few things stuck out as strange to me.
The big art pieces that are the plot’s focus, Cleopatra’s three bejeweled eggs, don’t even exist. They’re based on Russian Fabergé eggs but are much larger than their real-life counterparts. With so much real art to pick from, why create fake eggs?
The eggs’ backstory is thrown in as a faux-documentary about how they symbolized Mark Anthony’s undying love for Cleopatra. After that, though, the origin isn’t really mentioned again and is irrelevant for the most part. It comes up again as the reason the billionaire wants them and at one point as a possible location of the 3rd egg, but otherwise, they could have been treasures from Atlantis for all their origin matters.
Luck played a big part
My favorite part of any heist movie is the rundown of how they pull it all off. Normally something goes wrong, and they have to improvise, but it just felt like a lot of the action sequences ended up relying on luck rather than skill.
A lot of crazy lucky things had to happen, or the story wouldn’t have moved along. Things like multiple cars that hadn’t been touched in nearly 80 years managing to run without a problem or every pin and bar pulled by Booth on a scaffolding helped incapacitate guards and didn’t just destabilize the whole thing.
Maybe it was more deliberate than we think, though. The characters do show more than once how capable they are of thinking ahead and how even the smallest detail can be key to their plans. That being said, let’s just say Red Notice has a lot of direct confrontation and punches thrown for a movie about art thieves.
I expected more from Inspector Das. It mostly felt like she was there as a tool for the thieves to use against each other/ to put pressure on each other and be petty. She didn’t really have anything to contribute or do on her own. Her role came off as a dumb cop stereotype rather than an interesting character.
I wish she had a larger part in the movie or that she had done more than be a minor inconvenience to the thieves. She barely even saw Bishop, never mind arresting her, and every time she arrested Booth, he managed to escape with relative ease.
The pieces that fit beautifully
Even though some things about Red Notice stuck out to me as odd, it was a very fun movie. I really enjoyed it and highly recommend it to anyone looking to have a good time.
I hope this movie was as fun for the cast to make as I think it was. The chemistry between the main characters was so entertaining that it didn’t really matter what the plot was. The banter between Ryan Reynolds and the Rock was just so funny, and it was even better when Gal Gadot swept in to throw a wrench into things.
I don’t think the movie would have been the same if they had cast anyone else. They all seem to be having the time of their lives, especially Gal Gadot, and I think that energy is what really makes them, so fun to watch.
If you want a toned-down, less violent Deadpool, then you’ll love Nolan Booth. Ryan Reynolds brings the same unhinged, petty humor to the movie without all the blood and swearing. Throw in The Rock’s straight man routine, and you’ve got a hilarious dynamic duo.
Not the plot
There’s a reason the critic score for Red Notice is so low while the audience score is so high (Rotten Tomatoes puts it at 36% vs. 92%). The plot of the movie isn’t very compelling nor thought out very well. You watch the movie to have a good time and a good laugh. You do not watch the movie because you want a highbrow film that has any sort of serious statement to make.
There’s a twist at the end, which I predicted about halfway through the movie, so clearly, it’s something audiences can see coming. That doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy what’s happening, though. In fact, I usually enjoy guessing what’s coming, and it means picking out even the smallest details and trying to fit them into what I think the end will be.
Also, why was Ed Sheeran in the movie? Because he could be, I guess. It was pretty funny, though.
I give this Netflix flick 3 out of 3 fake Egyptian bejeweled eggs.
If you were an art thief, what would you steal? If you’ve ever felt like your brain is just full of fog, it might be time to take a mental health day. What is a mental health day, though?