By Jen Yamato Los Angeles Times
A number studio blockbuster originally acquired by Universal and designed to win box office gold, the expensive Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson-Ryan Reynolds “Red Notice” vehicle recently arrived as an original from Netflix, testing the algorithm and limits of making tentpole movies on our streaming screens.
Starring famous movie stars in exotic globetrotting locations, heists, and the vague glow of a dozen other action movies you know and love, what is it? do not love?
Fueled more by star power than compelling storytelling, “Red Notice” stars the generally charming Johnson as an FBI profiler who reluctantly teams up with a sarcastic art thief (Reynolds) against a thief in the world. even more crafty art dubbed the Bishop (Gal Gadot) to hunt down a trio of priceless golden artifacts known as Cleopatra’s Eggs. That’s right – “Red Notice” is a literal movie Easter egg hunt, proof that the filmmakers are at least trying to wink their audiences.
Alas, written and directed by Rawson Marshall Thurber (“Central Intelligence”, “Skyscraper”) and shot primarily on the sound stages of Atlanta replacing Italy, Russia and South America, “Red Notice” borrows and flies so many other films that he fails to conjure his own magic. With a budget that has reportedly skyrocketed to $ 200 million and production hampered by the pandemic, one of Netflix’s costliest moves to date to launch an original franchise suffers from the fatal flaws of being derivative, hollow and bland.