Earlier this week, Fast & Furious star Dwayne Johnson announced the release date for his upcoming action thriller, Red Notice. Described by Johnson as "Netflix's biggest movie ever" and co-starring Ryan Reynolds and Gal Gadot, this film has more to it than the press releases have let on so far.
Despite not being billed as such, it seems clear from the film's marketing that Red Notice will be a zesty caper movie in the vein of Ocean's Eleven and Army of the Dead. The tagline claims that the FBI's top profiler (Johnson) will join forces with the world's greatest conman and its greatest art thief (Reynolds, Gadot) for a daring heist, which fits squarely into the genre's long tradition of unlikely alliances and grandiose crimes.
However, this film is directed by Rawson Marshall Thurber, whose past work includes action films like Skyscraper and Central Intelligence (both of which also featured Johnson, incidentally). These movies often had ludicrous premises but played things relatively straight, with mixed results. As such, it's unlikely that Red Notice's hyperbolic advertising is tongue-in-cheek: these characters really will be the best in their fields, which could make it much harder for Thurber to present the antagonist as credibly threatening. It also means the film may struggle to stand out in the heist genre, which is increasingly dominated by trope subversions like Logan Lucky and movies that succeed on their sense of scale, like the Mission: Impossible franchise.
Red Notice was originally going to be released by Universal Pictures and Legendary, which won a bidding war for the project after releasing Skyscraper in 2018. However, the film was delayed due to the pandemic, and Universal ultimately ended up selling the rights to Netflix, which will release the movie on its streaming platform. As part of their contract, Netflix will pay 20 million apiece to Gadot and Johnson.
The film premieres on November 12th, 2021.
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