Red Notice (2021): The Three Biggest Movie Stars Join Forces to Torture Movie Watchers Everywhere

“Red Notice” is directed by Rawson Marshall Thurber (Skyscraper, Central Intelligence) and stars Dwayne Johnson (Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, ), Ryan Reynolds (Deadpool, Free Guy), and Gal Gadot (Wonder Woman, Criminal), Ritu Arya (Doctors, The Umbrella Academy), Chris Diamantopoulos (Up All Night, The Wonderful World of Mickey Mouse), and this film centers around two agents who are assigned to track down the world’s most wanted art thief.

Netflix is the epitome of watching a movie or TV show from home today. You can go to your microwave, whip up some popcorn, turn on your smart television, open the app, and let those images fly. Granted there are other options like Hulu or Prime or HBO, but only one has earned the identity of being the place where can watch your stuff and “chill.” Although in recent years, Netflix has taken the movie theater business rather seriously. They’ve released great, emotional titles like “Roma” and “Marriage Story,” and they’ve racked up some Oscars here and there. They even released my favorite film of 2020, “Over the Moon,” which I’m sure is an opinion that others don’t typically share, but knowing myself, I really could have used that film at a certain time in my life, hence why I loved it so much. Netflix’s bread and butter is obviously streaming, but they’ll occasionally try their hardest on a movie when the moment allows. Extreme emphasis on when the moment allows. Because not all of their stuff is theatrical, and a straight to streaming movie is today’s equivalent of a straight to cable movie. Everything looks a bit less polished and they don’t always showcase high quality. But for “Red Notice,” this is an interesting case. This was released theatrically, so it has that going for it. But also, the film had not just one, but three of the highest paid actors working today.

You have Deadpool and Blue Shirt Guy himself, Ryan Reynolds. One of the sexy Canadian Ryans out there. Yes we Canada! I know, he’s not in “Toy Story,” just go with it!

You also have Dwayne Johnson, who if you ask me, is probably today’s biggest stereotype when it comes to being a movie star. He’s not the ultimate chameleon, but he has his fans and knows his audience.

Lastly, there’s Gal Gadot, who I have fallen in love with for awhile given her portrayal as Wonder Woman. I think when she first started in that role, granted that was not her first gig, I think her line delivery could have been improved, but I saw potential in her, and she has been growing since then. And one of the first positives I can give to this film in terms of Gal Gadot being in it is that this is one of the better performances I’ve seen from her. The reason is because the way her character is written and directed unleashes the thought I have held for her for a long time. Gadot is probably one of the most beautiful women acting right now. Whether it is of highest intentions or not, which it probably is, she spends much of the movie coming off as almost semi-seductive in every scene. She has a couple lines in this film that feel like they come out of an action-packed porno.

I will also give the movie another thing. When it comes to the costumes, again as an example, I’ll mention Gal Gadot’s red outfit that is almost intentionally meant to put her perverted enemies at bay, they’re very well done. Ryan Reynolds and Dwayne Johnson look like they’re going to be the highlights of spy prom. I think many of the costumes in “Red Notice” are dazzling to say the least. I will also say that some of the sets are well put together and they occasionally make me want to travel the world. But I also want to note that nearly every positive I have given so far is either something based on looks, or how attractive the cast is. As the old saying goes, looks aren’t everything. How is the actual movie in terms of substance?

It’s pure crap. Honestly, this looks like a cheap “Fast & Furious” ripoff that is not quite bad enough to be in the Walmart $5 bin, but that kind of makes it worse because looks can be incredibly deceiving. It has the looks of a modern blockbuster, but it has a script that was created by a 12 year old! This film cost $200 million to make. I bet the three leads received an enormous portion of that pile of cash. I mean, what does Ryan Reynolds need all that money for? Is he gonna try to buy Canada or something?!

This is one of those scripts that if you are specifically writing it with the actors who ended up in this movie in mind, it would sound great in a pitch, but from my perspective, it’s also kind of a long shot considering some of these actors having busy schedules. Given the final results, I think these actors should have stayed busy.

Look, I love Ryan Reynolds as much as the next guy. I think he is one of the most hilarious dudes, and possibly my favorite movie star on the market today, but I have to admit, I don’t think I laughed once when this character was on screen. Part of his role in this film is the typical Ryan Reynolds schtick where he’s almost got traits of a lovable idiot but in actuality he’s not that much of a dumbass, but every line out of his mouth is ridiculously flat and I don’t even know if he was just off while filming or if Rawson Marshall Thurber is not as good at directing as I would like him to be. I liked “Central Intelligence.” I just wish “Red Notice” was as entertaining as that. This film is edited and written as an action-packed thrill ride. Why doesn’t the acting match the feel of a thrill instead of coming off as slightly robotic?

In fact when I watch this movie and I look at Dwayne Johnson and Ryan Reynolds, the first thing I’m reminded of is “Hobbs & Shaw.” Only it’s ten times worse… Because between the characters of Hobbs and Shaw, you had chemistry. One of the best things about the film “Hobbs & Shaw” for me was the chemistry between Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham. They hated each other, and they took every other moment to acknowledge their displeasure. Sometimes it was really funny. Whenever I look at, again, Dwayne Johnson, shows you the kinds of roles he’s taken in recent years, alongside Ryan Reynolds, I feel like I’m watching a watered down version of that pair. Even though the “Fast & Furious” franchise has never made a single masterpiece, the one thing it often gets right is the chemistry between certain characters, Hobbs and Shaw being one notable example.

Also, this film has one of the lamest and most forced examples of Coca-Cola product placement in recent memory. It felt like something out of an “SNL” sketch that made fun of an action movie as opposed to an actual action movie.

In the end, when it comes to “Red Notice,” there is not much to say except that it is one of the most forgettable landfills of a film I have watched in some time. Again, the stars look cool, the sets look cool, but I feel like more time was spent on developing the style of the movie to the point where Rawson Marshall Thurber and others involved literally forgot substance. I thought it would be tough for Dwayne Johnson to release a film that is worse than “Jungle Cruise” this year. Well, here we are. I also thought it was gonna be tough for Ryan Reynolds to crap out something worse than “The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard” this year. Mission accomplished, I guess! Gal Gadot looks stunning in a red dress. Okay. Let’s make a good script with that concept in it! How bout that? I’m going to give “Red Notice” a 2/10.

“Red Notice” is now available on Netflix for all subscribers. The film also released in theaters, but it has been a month since it came out, so I would not count on going to the theater to see this film at this point.

Thanks for reading this review! If you enjoyed this review, I just want to let you know that I have more coming. I have reviews coming for “Ron’s Gone Wrong,” “King Richard,” “Tick, Tick…BOOM!,” “Encanto,” “Sing 2,” “Ghostbusters: Afterlife,” and “West Side Story.” I’m also going to be seeing “Spider-Man: No Way Home” soon, so I will have a review for that as well.

Also, tomorrow, I will be sharing my thoughts on “The Matrix Reloaded” as part of the ongoing review series “The Matrix Reviewed!” Stay tuned!

If you want to see this and more on Scene Before, follow the blog either with an email or WordPress account! Also, check out the official Facebook page! I want to know, did you see “Red Notice?” What did you think about it? Or, what is the most disappointing movie you’ve seen with a great cast? Let me know down below! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

Skyscraper: Die Hard Without Christmas (2018) *PLUS RANT ON OBNOXIOUS MOVIEGOERS*

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Before we aim high and go into my “Skyscraper” review, let me just say that this film revolves around a family. This family’s relationship seems to play out in a significant amount of runtime for this film. Speaking of family, a new family is bound to form in California. A couple by the name of Paul and Genevieve at one point thought they’d never see the day the dream of starting a family would ever come true. Not because they didn’t try starting a family due to a lack of motivation or something, but because they endlessly tried and had no success. This is all explained… in “What the IVF?!”

“What the IVF” is a YouTube series starring the recently mentioned couple. These two explain their journey to conception. Every Monday, a new story is told, and usually the story that’s told is never one that’s all that happy. When it comes to the story of the couple’s journey to conception, many unfortunate realities occur throughout. Experience the ride alongside Paul and Genevieve as they face the misfortunes of math, exams, anger, sex, crying, pain, needles, and pain from needles! You can find the latest episodes of “WTIVF?” on the show’s personally dedicated YouTube channel, but if you want to watch one right now, check out the latest episode that goes over the past events of the couple’s IVF journey. I’ve watched it, and trust me guys, it’s a good one, check it out. Speaking of checking things out, be sure to take a gander at the “What the IVF?” YouTube channel, subscribe, ring the bell, click whatever button will make Paul and Genevieve happy! Aside from YouTube, you can also find stuff related to the series on other forms of media, be sure to check all of that out and follow those pages. Also don’t forget to check out the website to “WTIVF?” which is included in the links below. And be sure to tell them that Jack Drees sent ya over!

WTIVF? WEBSITE: http://www.whattheivf.com/

WTIVF? YOUTUBE: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCILXSidkzWgwrQ5Oa1py78w/featured?disable_polymer=1

WTIVF? TWITTER: https://twitter.com/WTivF

WTIVF? INSTAGRAM: https://www.instagram.com/wtivf/

WTIVF? FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/What-The-IVF-288868031634125/

“Skyscraper” is directed by Rawson Marshall Thurber (Central Intelligence, Easy A) and stars Dwayne Johnson (Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, Fast Five), Neve Campbell (House of Cards, Scream), Chin Han (Ghost in the Shell, The Dark Knight), Roland Møller (The Commuter, Atomic Blonde), Noah Taylor (Vanilla Sky, Shine), Byron Han (Altered Carbon, The Big Short), Pablo Schreiber (13 Hours, American Gods), and Hannah Quinlavin (Moon River, The Shanghai Job). This film mostly takes place in or around what this movie’s universe considers the tallest building in the world. Unfortunately, this building eventually gets to a point where it’s on fire, and now it is up to a man by the name of Will Sawyer, a caring father, who also used to be a US military member and FBI Hostage Rescue Team leader, to save his own family, and survive against certain individuals, not to mention, time.

My first exposure to something related to “Skyscraper” came around the time of the Super Bowl. To be more specific, I read a tweet from The Rock calling the film original. Just from that alone, I was intrigued. We’re getting as many sequels, adaptations, and reboots as we are getting news reports of someone we know or happen to like being called out for something terrible. Once I heard about this film’s “originality,” I was intrigued. But then the advertising started, and everybody started comparing it to “Die Hard.”

F*CK.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve seen “Die Hard” and I enjoyed it. It’s been forever since my experience watching it, but I found pleasure in what was on screen nevertheless.  However, if you’re advertising yourself as an original film, although in this case, an actor from the film is doing the advertising, and a good number of people see this as a “Die Hard” wannabe, that’s not good.

And you know what? One of my biggest problems with the film that doesn’t necessarily have to do with whatever is in the final product is the marketing. Now that people are calling “Skyscraper” 2018’s “Die Hard,” apparently there was a poster inspired by “Die Hard” made for it! Not only that, but there was also a “Towering Inferno” inspired poster. What does this movie want to be? And you know what? This might be an even more important statement: What does The Rock want this movie to be? Months ago, he was saying that this is an original production, and now he’s talking about other films that were basically inspirations for “Skyscraper,” which kind of therefore makes “Skyscraper” feel less original than maybe it once was. I will say though when it comes to tone, as I watched the movie, the tone was rather clear, it was trying to be an edge of your seat popcorn action thriller. I don’t think there is anything wrong with that. And in some ways, “Skyscraper” succeeded at doing such a thing, but I wouldn’t say it was enough. Sure, it’s summertime, so big, explosive, expensive movies are to be expected, but overall the story at times is somewhat cliche and the script is predictable. There are some moments I didn’t expect, but if you don’t dive into specific detail, you might as well say the script is predictable.

In fact, some of you might be asking how predictable the script to “Skycraper” actually was. It was SO predictable, that a few audience members had a number of moments where they would say something out loud, and in a split second, that thing would happen. First off, if you’re going to the movies, PLEASE DON’T TALK! IT’S RUDE! I PAID GOOD MONEY FOR THIS! Seriously, these audience members to my left, they just couldn’t stop making noise! Granted, I talk during the movies, but only on occasion, and when I do it, I whisper. These hooligans showed up about thirty to forty minutes after the scheduled showtime, which in terms of seeing the movie, is about fifteen or so minutes through the runtime. I knew something was going to happen when I heard loud laughing from the back of the theater. Then they came into my row, and all of them were sitting to my left. DID “A QUIET PLACE” TEACH ANYTHING TO PEOPLE?! DON’T! TALK! DURING THE MOVIE! Gosh, I hate my life.

In all seriousness, the characters in “Skyscraper” weren’t really all that interesting. Sure, there’s The Rock’s character, but then again, he’s The Rock, everybody likes The Rock. I bought into his relationship with his wife, not to mention his kids. I also bought into him as a guy with a prosthetic leg. Although at the same time, I feel like a lot of people, regardless of whether or not they actually have a prosthetic leg can play this character. Maybe they can’t do it as well as The Rock, but there are times that I can probably imagine another actor in The Rock’s shoes. If you ask me, I still think The Rock is actually a fine choice for this character, but my thought still stands.

I recently mentioned that the script is a bit lackluster for this film, and when it comes to specification on that sort of thing, some of it has to do with poor characterization. If you ask me, I think when it comes to the protagonists, I don’t have too many complaints, especially when you compare that to the antagonistic side. The script spent a lot of time focusing on the main family and treating the tall building as if it was its own character. Seriously! It’s possible that the skyscraper in “Skyscraper” has more character development than the Transformers in the “Transformers” movies! As I watched this film and noticed the antagonistic side of things, I thought I was watching a film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, because of how cliche or underwhelming or underdeveloped their villains happen to be. I wouldn’t say I thought the main villain was bad at what he was trying to do, but I just probably won’t remember him.

You know how I mentioned the mixed messages I got from the film’s marketing? This film at times did feel like “Die Hard” to me. I’ll be honest with you, I’ve never seen “The Towering Inferno” so I can’t say much about it. But there is another film I saw that I didn’t even realize would click into my mind at a certain point. Specifically, “Enter the Dragon.” If you’ve seen “Enter the Dragon,” chances are you’d know that there’s this climactic fight that takes place in this hall of mirrors. There’s a fight in “Skyscraper” that doesn’t seem to be exactly like that, but it’s very similar to it. Much like “Enter the Dragon,” this scene is competently shot and edited. There’s not a moment where I look in a mirror and notice a camera or a cameraman, then again most of this movie is on a green screen so I doubt they had actual mirrors on set. I’ve seen a number of reviews for this movie, and one comment that stuck out to me is that this movie borrows something particular from a lot of other titles, and usually that other title would do that particular thing better than “Skyscraper.” When it comes to this mirror scene, I can’t agree more. Not only was this sort of thing done better in “Enter the Dragon,” I’d say it was done better in “John Wick: Chapter 2!”

I also feel like a big problem in this movie may be because of the guy helming it. “Skyscraper” is written and directed by Rawson Marshall Thurber, and most of his work is in the comedy genre. Granted, there is comedy in “Skyscraper.” There wasn’t much, and not all of it landed for me, but it was there. This is not his first action film however, it’s not even his first film with The Rock either. One of the better movies I’ve watched during 2016 happened to be “Central Intelligence,” an action-comedy starring Kevin Hart and The Rock. I haven’t watched it since seeing it in the theater, but I had a really fun time with it and I certainly wouldn’t mind watching it again. This movie however, not so much. I wouldn’t say “Skyscraper” needed more comedy, if anything that would have killed the movie unless they were going for an R rating. It just needed a different director and better writing.

Another problem I had with “Skyscraper” is that while it was technically written and directed by the same person without cooperation from others, it almost feels like a film that a bunch of stereotypical cigar-smoking studio executives would come up with. I was exposed to a podcast recently where two guys were talking about this movie, and I actually know of these guys from YouTube too, shoutout to Chris Stuckmann and John Flickinger! They thought of “Skyscraper” as a pitch movie. It’s almost like the pitcher gave a list of movies that this can be compared to, and all of those elements can be easily implemented into the final product. And when some people think of The Rock, the phrase “big money” might possibly pop in their heads. After all, he’s a big name in current Hollywood based on the number of projects he takes on, including “Fast & Furious.” I don’t know, this just feels more like a corporate product than a movie. I saw that coming upon seeing more and more advertising, but I just can’t help but point that sort of thing out.

In the end, I wouldn’t say “Skyscraper” stands tall. Sure, the movie may be doing well overseas, but that doesn’t mean I’m seeing something of quality here. The Rock is very charming, I bought into the chemistry between him and his family members, and I do think the building had an interesting design to it. Although when it comes to overall positivity I can give, there’s very little I can give towards this sometimes badly paced, cliche, and predictable thing that some may call a film. But one thing’s for sure, this is not gonna spark any “Christmas movie or not a Christmas movie” debates. I’m going to give “Skyscraper” a 4/10. Thanks for reading this review! Be sure to stay tuned for upcoming content, including my “Mission: Impossible: Fallout” review, and I do have some other films in mind when it comes to future reviews. These films include “Eighth Grade,” “Sorry to Bother You,” or if I have an excuse to do an older film review series like I did with “Mission: Impossible,” I’ll be sure to get that going sometime as well. Stay tuned for more reviews and other great content! I want to know, did you see “Skyscraper?” What did you think about it? Or, what is your favorite movie starring The Rock? Mine is “Fast Five,” let me know yours down below! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!