In a word: Copycat
Why “copycat?” Starting in 1962, Hollywood has given us twenty-five James Bond movies. Um, make that twenty-six. However, this latest copycat fails to name James Bond as the protagonist. Rather, the newest persona for a James Bond-like character is Dwayne Johnson, the highest-paid movie actor in modern times.
The primary story is simple. Dwayne Johnson’s 6’5” character plays a slick, gutsy Interpol Agent who tracks planet earth in various nations, at least ten countries searching for the most valuable art piece ever, unearthed from the burial chamber of Cleopatra. His tenacious adversary is actor Ryan Reynolds, who lives the life of a marvelous thief suffering from mental traumas during his childhood.
If we close our eyes and just listen to the dialogue and the background music played mostly by brass horns, you’d think we’re in the chambers with Sean Connery, Pierce Brosnan or Daniel Craig. The chases and smashing vehicles along with flying air crashes are not unique, nor are the repetitious scenes of hand-to-hand combat, with thousands of bullets flooding the screen, The primary characters survive with nothing more than a few boo-boos here and there.
Of course, just like James Bond movies, the plots and fight scenes are adorned with beautiful ladies who manage to win every confrontation against the array of tough, well-armed bad guys and good guys.
Is the movie entertaining? Of course, providing the viewer enjoys the basic style. The constant repetition (the S.O.S) doesn’t matter.
Acting is best performed by Ryan Reynolds, though certainly not his best work. Dwayne Johnson, in my humble opinion, is far over-rated as an actor, though he well-serves movie houses as a hero magnate for lovers of the genre.
Considering the $200 million cost for “Red Notice” plus the successes that will surely follow, I suspect producers are already planning a sequel which, naturally,
will feature the same star (Johnson) drawing millions of viewers. But he will never ever be deemed a first-class actor. No matter what name Hollywood bestows upon him, he will always be James Bond.
There will never be another Sean Connery.
I rate this movie 5.5 out of 10.