Dwayne Johnson has claimed his latest movie, ‘Red Notice’, is the biggest movie in Netflix’s history. The streaming giant – which is usually a little shy at revealing viewing figures – has backed up his claim, saying the film has brought in more than 328.8 million viewing hours.
‘Red Notice’ has eclipsed the previous viewing hours record held by Sandra Bullock’s ‘Bird Box’, which released in 2018 and accumulated 282 million viewing hours. However, whilst it took ‘Bird Box’ four weeks to reach that figure, Johnson’s new flick passed it by in just 18 days. It’s estimated that approximately half of all current Netflix subscribers around the world have watched ‘Red Notice’.
Alongside Johnson, the film stars Ryan Reynolds and Gal Gadot. Johnson plays Agent John Hartley of the FBI, who teams up with infamous art thief Nolan Booth (Reynolds) to take down the even more dangerous criminal, Sarah Black (Gadot), also known as “The Bishop”. With a run time of just under 120 minutes, their adventure combines the international espionage of a Bond film with Indiana Jones-inspired treasure hunting.
The movie debuted on 12 November, and Johnson shared a clip on his social media last Saturday celebrating the roaring swell in viewership.
“Here’s my slick talkin’ frenemy Ryan Reynolds and I, giving you a taste of why RED NOTICE has officially become THE BIGGEST MOVIE IN THE HISTORY OF NETFLIX!!!” he wrote. “In under two weeks, we’ve shattered all the records and we have many weeks to go.”
However, despite its glowing commercial success, ‘Red Notice’ has been a flop with critics. Rotten Tomatoes contrasts a 92% favorable audience rating with a rotten 35% score with critics, based on 155 reviews.
Frequent sources of criticism were a lack of substance behind the twisting and turning plot and an absence of chemistry between the three lead actors.
Writing for Looper, Larry Carroll said, “[‘Red Notice’] Frequently feels like three distinct ‘brands’ being brought together, rather than three actors falling in love with a script.”
Clarisse Loughrey wrote in the Independent, “Nothing about writer-director Rawson Marshall Thurber’s story makes a lick of sense. Nor does it have the outright absurdity of his earlier comedies, such as ‘Dodgeball’ or ‘Central Intelligence’.” She added, “This action caper is less a film than a collection of buzzwords.”
In contrast, Stephen Romei gave the film a positive review in the Australian, writing, “I watched this 117-minute movie on a rainy afternoon and it was just about perfect for the time and place. The final scene suggests a sequel. I hope it happens.”
The idea for ‘Red Notice’ started out at Universal, but the studio dropped the film because it was nervous about trying to sell an original property on the star power of the lead actors alone in an era of franchise-dominated cinema. The film cost Netflix $200 million to make, much of which presumably went into the salaries of its leads.
But the film’s ending, which shows Hartley, Booth, and Black suiting up for another heist, opens the possibility that ‘Red Notice’ will kick off a franchise of its own.