Netflix’s Red Notice – A Movie Review

Red Notice felt very much like the excuse we needed to get Dwyane Johnson, Gal Gadot, and Ryan Reynolds together in a movie. It’s not especially good, but it’s fun to watch the three of these stars work together, so there you go.

Oh.

I guess you need a bit more than that, huh?

Okay, so Red Notice is about an art thief (Reynolds) trying to outdo another art thief (Gadot) as he’s being pursued by a profiler (Johnson) who is working with Interpol. Reynolds and Johnson eventually have to team up as Gadot outsmarts them both in regards to ancient Egyptian art pieces in the shape of eggs that Reynolds at one point refers to as MacGuffins. (Yes, you read that right.) Like any good MacGuffin, they serve as the motivation for all three characters even though nothing much ever really comes of them.

Reynolds cracks wise through the whole thing, Johnson tries to play his straight man, and Gadot takes a shot at being a femme fatale.

Honestly, there’s action, but it’s not great action. There’s fun quips from Reynolds, but we’ve heard much better from him in every other movie he’s done. Johnson seems to lack his usual charm for some reason. Gadot is fine though even she doesn’t particularly stand out.

Red Notice is a perfectly acceptable popcorn movie, but it never quite seems to figure out what kind of movie it wants to be. Is it a buddy movie, an action comedy, a self-referential satire, or a mostly serious heist film? It does not settle on any one of these, but instead dabbles in all of them.

While it was indeed fun to see Johnson, Reynolds, and Gadot on screen together, Red Notice did not work nearly as well as it should have.

Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw – A Movie Review

I have a terrible confession to make: I’ve never seen a single Fast & Furious movie. Not one. They just didn’t really seem like my thing. Also, I’m not a big Vin Diesel guy.

With that being said, you might be wondering what attracted me to Hobbs & Shaw, which is a spin-off of the Fast and Furious franchise. Honestly, it was the director–David Leitch.

Leitch is a former stuntman turned director with a lot of work in between those two things. I’ve read and heard interviews detailing his work ethic, his love of action, and his appreciation of buddy comedies. Combining him with the always-entertaining Rock, as well as the very physical Jason Statham seemed like the kind of summer action movie that I would like to see. Furthermore, Idris Elba and Vanessa Kirby are legitimate actors capable of serious range. The trailers looked action-packed, funny, and well-shot. I considered this a can’t-miss good time at the movies. Seriously, as my friends and I walked into the theater, I felt authentically excited about Hobbs & Shaw.

After about an hour of this thing, I’d had enough. Unfortunately, I looked at my watch and realized that I still had roughly seventy four minutes to endure. It didn’t get any better. In fact, it got actively worse.

There is no story. Not really. The plot is something that could be dropped into any movie, any time, in any era. The dialogue is just one cliche after another. No one says one original line in this entire movie. It drove me nuts.

The Rock and Jason Statham were funny at first, but then the jokes wore very thin and I realized that these guys actually don’t have any chemistry between them. I believe Dwayne Johnson can be a very good actor with the right supporting cast and the right director. He apparently had neither with Hobbs & Shaw. Furthermore, this movie convinced me that I will never see another Jason Statham film again. Nothing against him (especially if he’s reading this), but his brand just isn’t for me. He has one tone of voice, three facial expressions, and a type of action that gets very old very quickly.

My gosh, even Idris Elba stunk in this one. He, too, fell victim to terrible writing and poor directing.

Consequently, the alpha-male testosterone of Hobbs & Shaw bore me from the start. Everyone is the toughest. Everyone glares off to the side. Everyone walks with a strut. Everyone makes crude jokes. Everyone can’t be told anything by anyone. Almost two and a half hours of this nonsense proved too much.

It’s not even a great action movie. It’s had good action, yes, but not great action. Mission Impossible: Fallout is a great action movie. Hobbs & Shaw didn’t even come close to Fallout and seemed intent on borrowing shots you’ve already seen in other movies. I literally groaned when they blatantly swiped a scene from Captain America: Winter Solider.

And poor Vanessa Kirby. She deserves so much better.

I’m afraid I can’t recommend Hobbs & Shaw unless you just really love Jason Statham or Dwyane Johnson. It’s basically those two men running around a lot and making lewd jokes.

However, I will say this: there are a few cameos in this film that were fantastic. I won’t spoil it for you, but these scenes alone prove that The Rock does indeed shine when sharing the screen with the right person. Johnson can be funny, but he needs to play off of people who are even more funny. He literally cannot have Jason Statham as his straight man or you end up with … Hobbs & Shaw.

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