After the cookie-cutter heist film Red Notice hit streaming services audiences were disappointed to see a rehash of what they’ve seen countless times before, presenting Ryan Reynolds with a bigger problem than Dwayne Johnson after Red Notice. The crime thriller opened November 5th of 2021 to troubling reviews. Audiences noted that the film seems more like studios are trying to bring three different brands together at the cost of a real story. Red Notice pays too much adherence to its inspirations and much more enjoyable predecessors while forcing viewers to watch its three leads play caricatures of themselves. Dwayne Johnson, Gal Gadot, and Ryan Reynolds are wildly talented actors with extremely bankable charm and charisma. Red Notice completely disregards that.
Despite all of Red Notice‘s bad reviews, the movie somehow reached the top spot on Netflix’s most-watched list. The film follows FBI Agent John Hartley (Dwayne Johnson) on a mission with Interpol to intercept the number two art thief in the world, Nolan Booth (Ryan Reynolds), from stealing one of Cleopatra’s famed golden eggs. After the number one art thief in the world, The Bishop (Gal Gadot), erases all of Hartley’s credentials, Interpol throws both Hartley and Booth into a Russian prison. The two make a plan to escape and find all of Cleopatra’s eggs before The Bishop can get to them. The plot leads them on a wild goose chase which includes Nazi underground bunkers, a watch with a treasure map, and a bullfight in Rome’s famed colosseum, which all culminates with the twist that Hartley and The Bishop are actually a team. Red Notice is burgeoning with plot holes and headscratchers, prompting audiences to wonder how a script like this was even approved by a major studio like Netflix.
The most disappointing thing about the film is that it promises to deliver based on its bankable cast but ultimately misses the mark. Ryan Reynolds is a shining action hero and comedic talent. The Canadian actor and film producer got his start on the teen soap opera Hillside and started his ascent to stardom when he was cast in the lead role of the sitcom Two Guys and a Girl. His breakout role was the titular character of Van Wilder in National Lampoon’s college comedy van Wilder, a movie loosely based on comedian Burt Kreischer’s early adulthood antics. The role cemented Reynolds’ place in Hollywood as a comedy star, just as Blade: Trinity proved his action movie chops. Since then, Reynolds has achieved greatness through the Deadpool franchise, Disney’s Free Guy, and The Hitman’s Bodyguard. However, much like Dwayne Johnson, Reynolds’ movie star formula is waning, and a movie like Red Notice proves this in abundance.
Red Notice Relies On Ryan Reynolds & Dwayne Johnson’s Movie Personas
The movie relies too heavily on its stars at the expense of an original narrative. Unfortunately, what this means for Ryan Reynolds’ career is that he’s being pigeonholed by his own comedic talents. While the Deadpool franchise is comedy gold and one of the best Marvel antiheroes around, it might’ve been the catalyst for Ryan Reynold’s brand being fused in the minds of Hollywood’s producers. Red Notice only aims to exploit this. Red Notice‘s Deadpool actor is forced to play his own movie star persona as Nolan Booth, forgoing any sense of a character arc or noticeable growth for that matter. Reynolds ultimately remains stagnant as the character of Booth, and the film does little to highlight his true talent. Rather, it focuses on bringing together three separate brands, and futilely hopes a good movie will somehow form out of it.
Gal Gadot still has some autonomy within her career as the Wonder Woman star doesn’t quite have a determinable brand yet. That being said, Red Notice relies far too much on her co-star’s movie personas. The Rock has been playing a tough guy with a heart as big as his biceps for most of his acting career and has gotten away with it up until now. Red Notice risks repeating mistakes that similar films did for the careers of other pigeonholed actors like Arnold Schwarzenegger. Agent John Hartley is by no means an original character and neither is Nolan Booth. Booth rattles off quippy one-liners and Reynolds once again plays an antihero with an inferiority complex and way too much to say. The star vehicle lazily tries to promote the film as an original PG-13 heist movie that’s fun for the whole family. However, given that Red Notice has a $200 million budget and a $2 million return, it’s clear that the film relies too much on its casts’ movie personas.
Red Notice Shows Ryan Reynolds’ Movie Formula Is Tired
While Dwayne Johnson has discussed his movie star formula publicly, Ryan Reynolds has yet to comment on whether or not he follows strict guidelines when it comes to his choices. However, given the films that Reynolds has made from the 2o1o’s and onward it’s clear that he does have a schtick. The cult classic Waiting… showcased his comedic range in a much more realistic setting than Van Wilder but it also coined his trademark humor. Waiting… brought forth his everyman charm. Anyone who has worked in food service or customer service knows a guy like self-centered and apathetic waiter Monty, which is part of his charm. Unfortunately, as time went on and he gained more critical success from his blockbuster films, and the everyman persona was shed for something different.
Movies like Disney’s Free Guy are examples of the fact that Reynolds’ brand can be packaged if it’s outlined by an interesting and original premise. However, when a unique storyline is stripped away for something mediocre like Red Notice, it’s clear that a caricature of his persona isn’t enough to carry the film. The Netflix movie only highlights the fact that viewers and critics are starting to notice that his movie formula is growing tired. It’s unfortunate, considering that Reynolds has his roots in dramatic and other varied types of projects. For some reason, Hollywood has decided to erase any trace of his previous career in favor of this one-trick persona. There’s only so long that audiences can stand to watch Reynolds be a projection of his hilarious Twitter feed while forgetting that he’s actually an actor. Truly, Netflix’s Top Ten movie Red Notice causes a big problem for his career going forward. If he stays stuck in this rehashed role, viewers won’t be excited for much longer.
Can Ryan Reynolds Break Free From His Movie Formula?
If Ryan Reynolds were to go back to his roots, then he has a good chance of breaking free from his movie persona. Some of his earlier work, such as the 1996 mini-series In Cold Blood, proves that he has the range and the talent to take on more dramatic roles. That being said, some of his upcoming projects don’t look that promising. Spirited is a musical based on Charles Dicken’s classic novel A Christmas Carol, set to release in 2022. It’s not like audiences are unfamiliar with the tale, and it’ll probably fall in line with other comedic retellings like Richard Donner and Bill Murray’s holiday movie Scrooged. Of course, the actor will be returning to play Wade Wilson in the upcoming Deadpool 3, sure to be a major box office success. Another project the actor is involved in is a movie called Everyday Parenting Tips, which is only described as a comedy that chronicles raising children during a “Monster Uprising.” Again, not a promising movie choice. Hollywood is putting out another reboot in the form of Clue, based on the popular Hasbro board game. Its 1985 predecessor performed well enough, but audiences are feeling it from all of the reboots that studios are pumping out and it’s just another indicator that Hollywood is grievously out of touch.
The Free Guy actor, Ryan Reynolds, does have one up-and-coming project with some indication of hope. The Adam Project is currently in post-production and follows the story of a man who time travels to the past to get help from his 13-year-old self. Catherine Keener, Zoe Saldana, Jennifer Garner, and Mark Ruffalo also star in the film while Ryan Reynolds takes the lead role. While it’ll probably feature a lot of Reynolds’ comedic stylings, the sci-fi adventure film boasts a much more unique storyline than that of Red Notice. Hopefully, The Adam Project will deliver something different to audiences than what they’re used to from Reynolds, as well as break him out of the rut Hollywood has put him in.
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Ryan Reynolds Has A Bigger Problem After Red Notice Than Dwayne Johnson