Red Notice

Year: 202
Studio: Netflix
Director: Rawson Marshall Thurber
Writer: Rawson Marshall Thurber
Cast: Dwayne Johnson, Ryan Reynolds, Gal Gadot

If you want any more indication that Netflix still has theatrical aims, look no further. Not just because it's a feature length movie, but because it's the kind of thing that would have played like gangbusters on cinema screens in the 90s, like its stablemates Extraction or The Gray Man.

It's a perfectly pitched, good time, funny, sexy, globetrotting action adventure heist romp cut from the same cloth as a generation of pre-digital classic action comedies.

Not to say it's a great movie. At best it's disposable fluff, but I think that's exactly what writer/director Rawson Marshall Thurber intended – for you to enjoy the colour and movement, Gal Gadot's slinky beauty and Dwayne Johnson and Ryan Reynolds' shticks (Reynolds in particular is as Ryan Reynolds-ey as you've ever seen him, all quips and charming mugging).

Johnson is FBI agent Hartley, who's spent the last few years on the trail of notorious art thief Booth (Reynolds) and leads a sting with Interpol in Paris to finally nab him when he steals the last of a remaining trio of jewelled eggs Marc Antony made for Cleopatra.

After a breathtaking chase, Booth gets away with the precious artefact, but days later when he returns home to his hideaway in Bali, Hartley and Interpol swoop in to capture him.

Meanwhile, the mysterious and beautiful 'Bishop' (Gadot, whose moniker is the first clue to the biggest twist) swipes the real egg and replaces it with a forgery from right under everyone's nose, and when Hartley's Interpol equal believes he was was in on the job, she has him thrown into a remote Russian prison with Booth.

Hartley convinces Booth they have to team up to escape and get the last egg back from Bishop so Hartley can clear his name and Booth can fulfil his ambition of being the best art thief alive (instead of only the second best).

So they wisecrack and fight their way out of prison and go on the run after Bishop, who's likewise on the trail of the last remaining egg, sparking off a chase around the world through a masquerade ball thrown by an arms dealer, the wedding of an Egyptian billionaire's daughter, a cache of stolen Nazi loot in the Argentinian jungle and more.

It's all plot, twists, action set pieces and fast paced comedy and you'll enjoy it as long as it's playing and forget it moments later. You might be particularly impressed by the production design, which wrangles effective action sequences in some very photogenic locations, but otherwise it coasts on nothing but charm and glittering charisma.

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