Red Notice Review: Success or Screwup?



In just a month, the movie has received huge praise from viewers, and it has become the most-watched film on Netflix.

Alexandra Chu

Critics dislike it—everyone else loves it—what’s going on here?

Netflix’s latest action-comedy stars Dwayne Johnson as FBI profiler John Hartley who is forced to work with an international art thief (Ryan Reynolds) to catch another infamous criminal (Gal Gadot). In just a month, the movie has received huge praise from viewers, and it has become the most-watched film on the platform. Critics, on the other hand, have panned the movie, calling it boring and lackluster. So let’s take a look.

First of all, the plot of Red Notice is mainly original: Thieves from all over the world compete for $300 million by finding Cleopatra’s three golden eggs. After Hartley is framed by the world’s most wanted art thief, he embarks on a journey to find the missing eggs to clear his name. The film featured a great plot twist, a fun cameo from Ed Sheeran, and it was absolutely hilarious to watch. (Be warned that it does contain a couple of adult jokes.)

The next thing that comes to mind is Johnson’s tediously repetitive role. Although his character is a profiler rather than the typical macho agent (as another character points out), he seems to be playing the same role over and over again—the big scary guy who’s a softie on the inside. If The Rock had played a different role in the movie (maybe the weird goofball?), it might have been more entertaining to watch. 

With their frequent fighting and joking, the chemistry between Reynolds and Johnson was incredibly fun to watch, but Gadot didn’t add much to the mix: her tango with Johnson was uncomfortable for me to watch, and she seemed more like the annoying neighbor rather than a clever villain. However, the playfulness between the other two was more than enough to compensate for Gadot’s lack of memorable scenes.

If you’re looking for an action-comedy movie that’s packed with fun, then this is perfect for you. Red Notice may not contain the most plot substance or the most character chemistry, but it’s still an incredibly entertaining movie that’s definitely worth watching at least once (or three times, in my case).