2021, Movies

Red Notice (2021, Rawson Marshall Thurber)

This is a fairly entertaining movie that would be actually pretty fun if it wasn’t so stupid. It’s a frustrating experience to watch a movie where a bunch of the jokes land really well but the script is bad and the plot is ridiculous. The filmmakers don’t appear to trust their audience and the film tries to cram too much in. It’s a mess, but it’s pretty funny, so that makes up for some of how messy the film is.

So let’s get the good stuff out of the way: the movie is pretty funny (Reynolds, mostly) and at least one of the action sequences (the scaffolding) is really well done. And a few (only a few) of the jokes are about movie conventions, which I appreciate in such a dumb movie. But that’s…pretty much it. it’s quite funny, though, so it it’s nowhere near as boring as most incompetently made “blockbusters.” (Does this count as a “blockbuster”? It has three really big stars but it also has a lot of shitty CGI, so…)

So, there are a few massive problems which can be traced to the script. Firstly, there is no faith in the audience: multiple times one of the cast over-explains what is happening on screen. Gadot does it, The Rock does it, I think at least one minor character does it, it’s really annoying. Additionally, it almost always feels like Reynolds has all the good lines (and some bad ones). It’s almost as if Reynolds is improvising his part (or someone else wrote his part) and the other roles were written (by someone else).

The other issue with the script is the plot, which is just bonkers. There’s way too much plot, especially at the end, when there are multiple denouements. Really, it’s the whole plot, though, which has many different locations and set pieces. And many of them make very little sense. Perhaps none more than the secret, 75 year old lair that happens to have functioning electricity. That’s probably the worst part, but the rest of it is full of things that don’t make any sense once you think about them for a few seconds.

And there are other things wrong with the movie, but the script/plot is the biggest one. The CGI is not great, Bob. And Reynolds, despite being the best part of the movie, is inexplicably “Swiss.”

Anyway, not as bad as you may have heard, but the only thing keeping me from giving it a worse rating is that I laughed many times.


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