The Action, Humor and Twists in ‘Red Notice’ Leave You Wanting More

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Published November 13, 2021
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The Montclarion
Left to right: Ryan Reynolds, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and Gal Gadot star in "Red Notice." Photo courtesy of Netflix

“Red Notice,” an action-comedy film about an unlikely partnership between an FBI profiler and an infamous art thief, was released on Netflix on Friday, Nov. 12. The film follows the pair as they execute an adventurous heist and encounter a rival and recurring obstacle in the form of “the world’s greatest art thief.”

Starring Ryan Reynolds, Gal Gadot and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, the actors alone had the film in high anticipation and high expectations; needless to say, it did not disappoint. It runs for one hour and 55 minutes of pure entertainment, complete with humor and breathtaking action scenes.

The film has a steady beginning, unraveling the history of the treasure the characters are in search of throughout the movie: Cleopatra’s jeweled eggs. This introduction set a more serious tone for the film.

Johnson makes the first appearance as special agent John Hartley, but it isn’t until Reynolds’ introduction that both the comedy and action are kicked into high gear. As the FBI agent tries to pursue Reynold’s character, Nolan Booth, the audience is pulled into an intense and enjoyable action scene that sets a high bar for the rest of the movie. The stunning and thrilling camera shots and humorous moves taken by Nolan as he attempts to evade capture make it hard to look away.

Reynolds and Johnson had an immediate chemistry and worked off each other very well as a cop and a crook, an iconic duo in any type of media. Being forced to work with each other and become a team, it may remind some of a trope referred to as “The Marriage of Convenience.” This is even referred to within the film later on, both by the special agent and Gadot’s character, The Bishop.

Gal Gadot plays The Bishop, an infamous criminal. Photo courtesy of Netflix

Gal Gadot plays The Bishop, an infamous criminal.
Photo courtesy of Netflix

Another infamous criminal, The Bishop, is introduced in a way that propels the story forward. It is exciting to see Gadot apart from her well-known character as Wonder Woman, especially in a comedy, which she delivered well. Like her iconic role as the DC hero, she still dominates as a strong female lead and is able to successfully fight off both men in the film at one point.

Special agent John maintains a serious demeanor for most of the movie, which is a nice contrast to the other leading characters who are portrayed with a more light-hearted nature. Although Johnson’s character is more serious compared to the others, he still brings his fair share of laughs, and his interactions with Reynolds are priceless. The love/hate dynamic between the two is both humorous and touching.

Ryan Reynolds plays Nolan Booth, an art thief. Photo courtesy of Netflix

Reynolds plays Nolan Booth, an art thief.
Photo courtesy of Netflix

Reynolds’ performance is the highlight, though Johnson and Gadot beautifully brought their characters to life as well. The interactions between all three were so entertaining, leaving me wishing there had been more scenes between Reynolds, Gadot and the entire trio together.

Aside from the three protagonists, there are many other players to keep track of throughout the movie, from Inspector Das, played by Ritu Arya, to the rest of the International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol) and more. Each presented obstacles for one another in their opposing goals, and the way they change roles throughout the film keeps audience members on their toes.

So much time actually passes in the movie with numerous time jumps spanning from dozens of hours to many months, even casually mentioning that three days had passed in between certain scenes. Although time gaps can often be off-putting in movies, all these jumps flowed seamlessly in with the plot of the film.

Left to right: Johnson, Reynolds and Gadot bring their characters to life beautifully in "Red Notice." Photo courtesy of Netflix

Left to right: Johnson, Reynolds and Gadot bring their characters to life beautifully in “Red Notice.”
Photo courtesy of Netflix

There are several other aspects of the movie to love, from scenes that explain the details of the heists to the reveals of previous scenes having been “planned ahead” to pivotal moments, like puzzle pieces coming together. Characters even break the fourth wall at times, from Nolan saying, “That’s called foreshadowing,” to referring to some background characters as “extras.”

There are also many twists. A quote said by Nolan early in the movie can be used to explain much of the plot.

“Lots of twists and turns, hijinks. Who knew it’d end up this way?” Nolan said.

The film concludes with a twist ending that makes viewers rethink the whole movie, questioning what was real or if anything really mattered. The conclusion truly set the movie apart from others in the genre. It also seems to leave the film open for future possibilities, meaning viewers may see these characters again with new dynamics and relationships.

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