Arts & Leisure

This “Red Notice” is colorless

“RED NOTICE” stars Ryan Reynolds, Gal Gadot and Dwayne Johnson (Netflix).

By Jim Tortolano

Take equal parts “Indiana Jones, “Lethal Weapon” and “Oceans’ 11,” toss them in the blender, hit frappe, and what have you got?

A mushy kind of movie called “Red Notice,” a two-hour mess with about 10 minutes of entertainment. It takes some major star power – Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Gal Gadot and Ryan Reynolds – and some cool special effects and the result is like a big budget made-for-TV movie, and not the good kind.

This is a caper/buddy movie about the pursuit of the wholly imaginary Third Egg of Cleopatra. That’s appropriate, because most of this film is so unbelievable and unfounded in any version of reality it makes comic books look like Hemingway.

Here’s the sitch: FBI profiler John Hartley (Johnson) is on the trail of ace superthief Nolan Booth (Reynolds), with the help of Interpol inspector Urvashi Das (Ritu Arya).

Hit the pause button here. The Cleopatra Egg is a fiction. Interpol is not a law enforcement agency; it’s just a coordinating agreement among police departments. It has no agents, no SWAT teams, and no “inspectors.” It would have been just as real if they’d brought in the Avengers or the Justice League.

Booth is grumpy because he’s been upstaged as the world’s best thief by The Bishop (Gadot). Hartley is grumpy because … that’s the way writer-director Rawson Marshall Thurber wrote him. The two become squabbling reluctant allies and the scenes that follow allow lots of semi-witty banter and fistfuls of explosions and daring escapes.

There are some nice moments here. The special effects that Netflix paid for are sometimes quite good, and Ms. Gadot looks stunning (so what else is new?).

But there’s not much else worth watching, including the “twist” ending you can see coming like a train two miles away on a clear morning. The term “red notice” refers to the Interpol term for a wanted persons notification.

If you see this movie, what you may want is your money and two hours of your life back.

“Red Notice” is rated PG-13 for violence and action, some sexual references and strong language.

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