If you were just stepping into Red Notice for the first time without seeing any of the trailers or having read any of the plot then you might wonder why in the world the subject of Cleopatra’s Eggs might be so important, at least until it comes down to the fact that Nolan Booth, played by Ryan Reynolds, is attempting to steal it since the egg is a priceless artifact. The eggs were reportedly given to Cleopatra by her lover, the famous Mark Antony, and were subsequently lost to history, only to be discovered much later by a farmer that just happened to unearth all but the third egg. It’s either saddening or hilarious to think that some folks might go thinking that the eggs were real, but they’re a plot device that allows Booth, Agent Hartley, played by Dwayne Johnson, and The Bishop, played by Gal Gadot, to go head to head when it comes to trying to reach the third egg. I can already hear how many people are calling this plot convoluted and unnecessarily twisted, but for those of us that survived the 80s and 90s action movies, this is a throwback in a big way since it has a lot of working elements that a lot of people should enjoy.
If you’re not into action movies that don’t account for every movement of the characters as it happens, then you might not appreciate the lack of logic that goes into this movie as it continues to roll along. But the twist that comes near the end is definitely worth it simply because there’s not a lot of reason to think too hard with this movie. If you do, then you’re either bound to figure things out pretty quickly, or you’re going to be pulling your hair out trying to anticipate and foil each plot twist while looking in the wrong direction. The Bishop is thought to be a myth, a legendary scapegoat that law enforcement agents can blame when they fail at their job, as is heard from a museum director in the opening minutes of the movie. But the character is a little too real since the type that knows how to play the long-con and knows how to anticipate her competition, meaning Booth. Hartley on the other hand comes off like the proverbial bull in the China shop, meaning that he’s good at his job, but at the same time, he appears to be something of a bumbler that knows what he’s doing but is a little too heavy-handed when it comes to his work. Watching Johnson, Reynolds, and Gadot on screen is a little bit dicey, but it feels more like nitpicking than offering a real estimation of their work.
They do have good enough chemistry that allows the movie to come off as something that moves forward at a good clip and definitely doesn’t sit still that long. Even when it does switch over to exposition, Reynolds’ comic chops are more than enough to make each scene snap just a little and keep moving rather than drag on for too long. There are minor irritations in this movie to be sure, but they’re not really worth talking about since they come and go in a manner that’s easy to withstand. Seeing Reynolds as the weaker of the trio when it comes to physicality and realizing that he’s kind of the Dieter of this bunch (yes, Army of the Dead reference) is kind of tough after having seen him in so many other movies like Deadpool and, well, Deadpool 2. The point is that Reynolds has been coming off as a strong character for a while and to see him become an easily-intimidated character is a little off-putting.
But all the same, he is effective as a thief since he can play the part off nicely, and his ability to act with Johnson is actually kind of impressive. Gadot has me thinking that she might actually be able to pull off the role of the Evil Queen in the upcoming Snow White movie that she might be starring in since her devious side might come out in a big way, as there were glimpses of it in this movie. Plus, there’s a good reason to think that these three could possibly be part of a Marvel/DC crossover that might be kind of fun to see since they can work just fine together.
All in all, Red Notice was the kind of movie that’s great for a streaming service, while seeing it come to the theaters gives me the idea that it would have drawn a crowd but would still grant it the same reviews that some people are giving even now. Personally, I happened to like the comedy and the action and how they went together, but there were moments that didn’t track as well and characters that weren’t really needed. Apart from that, it’s something that would have done great in the 80s or 90s. Today it’s definitely fun, but then so is an amusement ride that lasts a few minutes.