The Netflix original film “Red Notice” is an action-packed international heist film about a persistent FBI profiler who actively pursues the world’s second-best art thief. The duo reluctantly bands together to complete their mission and capture a beautiful and charming female art thief who proves to be a resourceful and resilient criminal mastermind.
At the start of the film, hieroglyphics and drawn images of the Egyptian queen Cleopatra and her husband, Antony, fill the screen as a narrator details the couple’s history and an ancient myth that bloomed from their tragic love story. The myth claims that Antony gifted Cleopatra three bejeweled golden eggs on their wedding day as a symbol of his everlasting love for her. The narrator concludes that people no longer believe it is a myth after a farmer unearths two of the golden eggs. The location of the two eggs is revealed, but the location of the final egg remains unknown.
The camera pulls back to display a screen playing a documentary of Cleopatra and her three eggs. Viewers are then shown the hands of someone using a three-dimensional printer to construct a fake replica of the golden eggs.
It is this that sets the stage for the comedic action movie “Red Notice,” where Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Ryan Reynolds and Gal Gadot go head-to-head.
In hopes of catching infamous art crook Nolan Booth, played by Reynolds, Special Agent John Hartley, played by Johnson, accompanies police officials to the museum in Rome where one of Cleopatra’s golden eggs is on display for the public to view. Hartley and Interpol agent Urvashi Das, played by Ritu Arya, prove to museum officials that the golden egg that they have on display is a fake and convince them to put the museum on lockdown. Once the alarms sound and doors begin to close, Booth runs. Hartley takes off after him but eventually loses him and the golden egg in traffic.
Hartley tracks down Booth’s hideout in Bali, and they obtain the golden egg and detain Booth. A day and a half later, Das arrests Hartley after someone sets him up and makes it seem as if he switched the real egg out for a fake one and wired money to his account. Hartley and Booth get assigned as cellmates in a Russian prison.
The two bump heads at first but agree to ally after Sarah Black — also known as “The Bishop,” a beautiful and strategic art thief who is always a step ahead — played by Gadot, pays them a visit in prison and offers a business proposal that both men refuse. With Booth’s burning desire to collect all three of the golden eggs and Hartley wanting to arrest Black and turn her in to the authorities, the pair decides to work together and bust out of the Russian prison facility.
In the remainder of the film, the two travel to Valencia and Argentina where two of the three valuable eggs are being kept. The two mischievous men engage in verbal altercations, fistfights and shootouts in the process of trying to collect the ancient golden eggs. Black, who already has one of the three eggs in her possession, follows her two male enemies to discover the location of the last two. She ultimately defeats Hartley and Booth in Valencia and collects the second of the three eggs.
In Argentina, Booth and Hartley discover the final golden egg in an underground Nazi bunker. Black appears with a gun pointed at the men and demands that they hand her the final egg. However, as Booth is about to hand it to her, Das and her team of law enforcement officers bust in and begin shooting at the art criminals. Black, Hartley and Booth escape from the police in a 1931 Mercedes-Benz 770. With the police close behind in another vehicle, the trio runs their vehicle off a cliff and down a waterfall. The unexpected twist comes when Black and Hartley reveal to Booth that they are a couple, and they have been working together on the heists since the beginning.
“Red Notice” is a witty and entertaining film filled with twists and turns. It may not be the best film to choose for a family movie night, but it is a must-see for adults who are fans of The Rock or action films. In the beginning, it was a little difficult to distinguish the criminals from the honest heroes, but everything came together toward the end of the film, and it becomes crystal clear why everything happened the way that it did.
For those who enjoy seeing powerful women, Gadot — better known for her role as the most recent Wonder Woman in the latest DC Universe films — presents her character, The Bishop, with grace and confidence. There is never a moment where she plays the role of the helpless dame; she gives orders to men and defeats them in physical fights. Her powerhouse character is a force to be reckoned with; she demands respect, and you cannot help but appreciate her character in the film.
One of the particularly interesting aspects of “Red Notice” was that the film was set in five different international cities: Rome, Valencia, Bali, London and Argentina. However, Das and her team of law enforcement officials still maintained jurisdiction everywhere they went. In reality, the machinations of Interpol is a little more complicated than it is portrayed in the film.
As a whole, the film is enjoyable, attention-grabbing and comedic at times. If you have a sense of humor, you are guaranteed to chuckle at least a few times throughout the film. If you happen to watch this film and enjoy it, you may want to keep an eye out for “Red Notice 2.” The end of the 2021 film sets up a second movie, and rumors say that there may be a sequel on the way.
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