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Red Alert for “Red Notice”


Finally, a new column with a purpose! Yep, we’re back. Well, kind of; please hold the applause. Some of you may recall that my Intrado (West) bio as a member of the international press lists me, for whatever reason, as keen to cover the old A & E beat. Previously, this might have referred to my occasional grumbling about “Hellywood” or something. Lately, it’s all GG. (Yeah. This is another Gal Gadot praise session).

Two weeks ago, desperate for something semi-sane to write about, I lauded GG’s new Goodles culinary endeavor. Therein, I even dared to imagine “…I might venture into a theater to watch…” “Red Notice.” Well … I did not. The Gal failed for once. I did, however, watch it outside of a theater, so she really, as usual, succeeded. Here follows my review.

The film is playing at a cinema relatively close to me, one of just a handful nationwide. I’m not really big on movie houses anymore. I don’t like television either. I also don’t and won’t subscribe to Netflix. Luckily, some friends do own a telly, a giant 80(?)-inch model, which is wired up to every service under the sun. So it was that one night last week, I watched our beloved Israeli’s latest work. 

I don’t like movies in general and I tend to shun most popular culture. I also, credentials aside, don’t do movie reviews – much. In the past ten years, I may have reviewed two, both negatively. Ergo, I don’t have a rating system. All that said, I highly recommend “Red Notice” for the general public! For my own strict purposes, I’d say the movie was good enough as it allowed me to watch more Gadot in a fun, inoffensive vehicle. I believe those of ordinary interests will be absolutely thrilled. In fact, I know they are. 

One of the dedicated entertainment outlets previously surmised that “Red Notice” needed to garner 200 million viewing hours to be successful. I have no idea what that means, given the film’s $200 million budget and the oddities of Hollywood accounting. Last I checked, it’s clocked over 335 million hours, making it something beyond a success. It also knocked over some sort of birdcage to become Netflix’s biggest, most-watched movie ever. The people like it.

The professional movie critics have some valid movie critic points. Some. A few. Just a few. 

Hang on! Before this degenerates into a ramble, let’s get the facts out of the way, shall we? “Red Notice” revolves – at rather high speed – around a plot by and between Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Ryan “Deadpool” Reynolds, and !GAL “She IS Wonder Woman and Is There Anything She Can’t Do?!?! and, boy, אני אוהב אותה” GADOT! to scour the world – at rather high speed – in search of Cleopatra’s missing, magical, very expensive, Fabergé-like eggs. SPOILER ALERT: In the end, they find them and eat them. Gal has her’s Benedict. 

Let me add that I like Johnson and Reynolds. They worked very well together in the film, even as they might have eaten a little too much of GG’s screen time. As a trio, the gang clicked and delivered solid performances. My favorite part was all the ones with Gal, especially when she was speaking. What I could have done without was some visual aspects of the filming itself. It’s hard to describe and it might just be my inner curmudgeon, but this movie felt or watched like television. Maybe it was because I watched it on a (really, really big) TV? Maybe my eyesight isn’t what it was? Dunno. However, everything went crystal clear and dreamy whenever a certain “hard ten,” as Reynold’s character described her, appeared.

Back to the real critics, they criticize. Sometimes excessively. The job, I suppose. Many of them would like for every action-esque flick to be a one-of-a-kind change-up or masterpiece like “Wonder Woman.” By the law of averages, they can’t be. And “Red Notice” didn’t even try; it thereby succeeded in fulfilling what it was meant to be. It was, as some of the critics noted, a big, fun, silly, fantasy-doesn’t-have-to-make-perfect-logical-sense, action-comedy. It made sense enough for a good romp. Yes, it happened to pay a kind of amalgamated homage to so many similar oldies from the 1980s and 90s. It was a little bit of a time warp. People need that right now and this film delivered. 

While it wasn’t perfect, the plot was coherent. It was fun. And funny. I’ll admit that some of the humor was perhaps on the lower slapstick end, but it worked. And, interestingly enough, despite a never-ending series of chases, fights, and shootouts, nobody died. That’s two Gadot movies in a row like that. “Wonder Woman 1984” was the first. A new GG effect? Refreshing, regardless.

That’s the summary of “Red Notice” – refreshing!

Having written all this, I realize that I, in fact, really liked the show. In honor of Johnson, Reynolds, and !GADOT!, I give it three stars up! 

I may not be a snarky professional British critic writing for Haaretz and, for that, I thank God. I’m also thankful for anything GG does. Naturally, I, too, want to see her progress to the next level – like a no-CGI-required dramatic performance. It’s coming. A few of them. I’ll arrange some way to screen “Death on the Nile” next year. I heard a rumor that Mrs. Goodles wrote, if not the whole script, the initial story behind “Cleopatra.” I want to see what the girl has in terms of full creative ability and I think she’ll blow it one away regardless of whether we see the magic eggs in action. I have high hopes for “Hedy Lamar.” But the one I’m really looking forward to is “Irena Sendler.” 

To answer Mr. Snark Haaretz, I do think the Poles will enjoy seeing their Catholic heroine played by a Jewish Israeli actress – especially this one. Gal can and probably will accomplish several great things with that role. Time will tell and, again, I truly look forward to it.

Okay, that’s all the movie talk I can muster. How about some pasta? 

Wouldn’t you know it? Goodles is mostly sold out at the moment. While we wait, please take a few minutes and learn why that project is so important. Ladies and gentlemen, GG:

She couldn’t find NONE! So she did it herself. What a woman! Double kiss too.

Still with me? While we’re on entertainment, there’s this. This summer, in a submission that never saw publication (someone shuffled the new Substack?), I made some UGA Football Next Year Club meeting predictions: “If the Dawgs can make it past Clemson, then the meeting may be delayed until December. It might not happen at all.” Easing towards New Year’s Eve, that’s exactly where we are. Do I have a knack for the A & E thing after all?

Tune in next time for more of the same.