'Red Notice' Is a Perfect 7/10 Movie

Directed by Rawson Marshall Thurber

Starring Ryan Reynolds, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, Gal Gadot, Ritu Arya

BY Alex HudsonPublished Nov 4, 2021

There is no reality in which the elevator pitch "The Rock and Ryan Reynolds in an action-comedy about stealing ancient Egyptian treasure" yields a better movie than Red Notice. This blatantly silly movie is the absolute best possible version of itself — it's funny, has some exciting chase scenes, and is altogether the Platonic ideal of a 7/10 movie.

Reynolds plays Nolan Booth, a fast-talking art thief who is basically Deadpool minus the superpowers and "fuckknuckles" jokes. FBI profiler John Hartley (Dwayne Johnson, reuniting with his Skyscraper director Rawson Marshall Thurber) catches him stealing one of three golden eggs that once belonged to Cleopatra, and they get caught in a tangled web of double-crossing with the authorities (led by Ritu Arya) and a mysterious thief known as the Bishop (Gal Gadot). Naturally, Nolan and John team up — the former to get the egg, the latter to clear his good name.

Red Notice is just as silly as you'd expect from such a plot, but the jokes land — Reynolds has already done this snarky, sarcastic character to death, but that's because he's good at it. There's a perfect celeb cameo, tons of pop culture references, and an extremely good chase scene in a museum.

The Rock once again proves that he's better at comedy than pure action, as he allows himself to be the butt of constant jokes involving some combination of baldness, muscles and general meatheadedness. He's in full Jumanji mode here, romping through the jungle and making self-aware cracks about his real-life-superhero persona. Combined with Reynolds' sassy spin on Thomas Crown, they're a perfect buddy duo, with a frenemy rapport that involves quick backstabbing and even quicker forgiveness.

Last month Reynolds announced that he was taking "a little sabbatical from movie making." Perhaps the reason is that, with Red Notice, he has made the most perfectly Reynoldsy movie possible and, for now, there's nothing else for him to achieve.

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