Mediocre, clichéd and predictable, these words carry a certain negative connotation. I mean, who wants to be these things when the aim is to be exceptional, original and surprising.

However, in the case of Red Notice, it doesn’t suffer badly from its own inherent mediocrity, clichéd-ness and predictability. Actually, it’s fully aware of these aspects.

Director/writer Rawson Marshall Thurber, who previously directed the atrocious Skyscraper, spins these apparent lacks into a compliment. That, in itself, is a virtue worth having for any popcorn weekend entertainer.

And so far, the world of Netflix watchers worldwide seems to agree with this, because, as per reports, Netflix is hailing Red Notice for having the biggest opening day for the platform.

Red Notice is escapist, filler cinema at its best

It’s not all that surprising that Red Notice has people clicking it. While Netflix does churn out a lot of content, sometimes their wares fall far short in emanating that “cinema quality experience” one craves. You know, the big, dumb, escapist, entertaining blockbusters where big-name movie stars fight through a series of inconsequential scenarios in big set-pieces, all the while filling the movie with inconsequential comic banter.

In fact, Red Notice has oodles of the very stuff. Starring today’s trending A-listers, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Ryan Reynolds and Gal Gadot, this heist-filled movie has more than enough twisty, chuckle-worthy scenes of action and adventure.

The movie opens with FBI profiler Agent John Hartley (Johnson), who is out to stop the heist of one of the three priceless eggs that Cleopatra once owned. One of them rests in a Museum in Rome, and Hartley, with the help of the Interpol agent Das (Ritu Arya), plans to stop the heist because of the hot intel he has received.

However, before anyone can understand what is happening, art thief Nolan Booth (Reynolds) nimbly steals the egg in front of Hartley and Interpol.

As it turns out, a billionaire daddy wants to give all three of Cleopatra’s eggs to his daughter on her wedding, and he’s willing to pay an astronomical price for them. Now, besides Booth, comes in the infamous thief called The Bishop — a femme fatale who is at least two steps ahead of both Hartley and Booth. This makes an already complicated act of nicking these highly secured eggs trickier, with double- and triple-crosses taking place every now and then.

Johnson, who in the past has proven his mettle at the box-office with action-comedy movies, seems a little clumsy in the typical role of a straightlaced co-lead. Gadot is sporadically good, while Reynolds boosts the movie with his distinctive brand of humour.

Red Notice might not blow away anyone’s minds but it does scratch the itch of escapist, filler cinema experience just right.

Streaming on Netflix, Red Notice is rated suitable for ages 13+, however, it’s suitable for anyone below that age group as well

Published in Dawn, ICON, November 21st, 2021

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