Review: Red Notice, Netflix’s Worst Consumer Product


By bringing together Dwayne Johnson, Ryan Reynolds, and Gal Gadot in an action comedy, Netflix intends to turn Red Notice into a year-end blockbuster. Except it’s just a long ad for the platform…

When Netflix previewed its films slated for 2021 earlier this year, it was no coincidence the video opened with a trio of Ryan Reynolds, Gal Gadot and Dwayne Johnson. The streaming platform (SVoD) was hit hard by bringing together three global, popular and especially profitable stars in one film.

In this action comedy, FBI profiler John Hartley (Dwayne Johnson) attempts to get hold of the heist genius, Nolan Booth (Ryan Reynolds). Nicknamed “Le Fou” (Gal Gadot), the two foes must work together to retrieve the precious object before them.

Humor, romp, robbery, runaway, twists and turns, fights… Red Notice, on paper, has all the tools to become a popular smash hit. Unless there is a scam, the audience is the victim.

When AI is writing a horror movie
A few weeks ago, Netflix accomplished a feat: entrusting horror film scripts entirely to AI. A bot has swallowed more than 400,000 hours of feature films in the genre before drawing the ultimate horror film synopsis. The result is a 4 minute 22 short film, Mr Puzzles Want You To Be Less Alive, without coherence, but experimentation we welcome.

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If we tell you this, it’s because it now seems clear that the first tests were carried out much earlier. The footage is nothing less than a summary of what Hollywood has presented us with over the years, spit out for what it is without any attempt at originality or wit. It’s like we eat a pizza/kebab/fast food/soda burger mix in one meal and the inside of our stomach gets its own movie.

The observations are hard, but it’s up to the ordeal of living in front of lazy entertainment that openly claims to be a pure, soulless consumer product. Offering a kind of messy Lego, director Rawson Marshall Thurber (Skyscraper, Almost Secret Agents) compiles the already seen scene without worrying the slightest about the consistency of the whole. The film becomes cynically perfect when it’s considered quite simply a very long commercial for the streaming giant, signing here the embodiment of its recommendation algorithm. The message is clear: Red Notice will attract the greatest numbers precisely because it has literally the entire catalog in one film. The worst part is that there is no total irony in his trading approach,

Red Notice when casting
With his usual little jokes at the end of the race, Ryan Reynolds insists he does need a career break (we love you Ryan, get us back in shape!), Dwayne Johnson plays the mono-expressive alpha male and Gal Gadot seems to be just physical. To believe that AI has also replaced the film’s cast…

A harsh observation, but reveals the boredom felt in front of an entertainment that tries to drown its intentions in a continuous rhythm. Yes, there’s always something going on on screen that tries to convince us of the cool side of the show, when it’s clear that no one involved in the project is interested in the viewers. Sorry. To customers.

The only success of Red Notice is being the saddest product of the red N company. But we have seen their version of Knights of the Zodiac.