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SAS: Red Notice (15, 111 minutes)
This high octane thriller based on an Andy McNabb novel, with explosions, gun battles aplenty and a good old fashioned climactic knife fight still manages to be instantly forgettable.
Outlander star Sam Heughan is basically auditioning to be the next James Bond here as an SAS soldier born into money who, like 007, is borderline psychopathic in his clinically efficient dispatching of the enemy, but lacks the MI6 agent’s charm.
A plan to propose to his doctor girlfriend in Paris is disrupted when a band of renegade mercenaries, led by a similarly stone cold killer Ruby Rose (showing no lasting effects from surgery she needed after playing Batwoman for one season), hijacks the Eurostar deep inside the Channel Tunnel with the intention of blackmailing the government, whose dodgy dealings have been kept from the wider public.
The sub plot of Heughan and Rose being two sides of the same coin is a bit clumsy and obvious, the Scot’s attempt at an upper crust British accent gets a little erratic at times and Andy Serkis basically plays the kind of nasty piece of work he always plays when not dressed as a monkey or a gimp with dots all over him, but if I had to pinpoint one thing as the reason why a film that tries so hard ultimately fails to deliver it would be the dialogue, which at times is just risible.
It’s certainly not short on action, but SAS: Red Notice is missing heart and credibility. The protagonists come across as two dimensional computer game characters and clichés from a mediocre writer’s limited imagination. Apart from puling a trigger they have very little to work with. It’s very difficult to invest in them or even to suspend disbelief for the running time at least.
And if I’m not blown away, then Barbara Broccoli definitely isn’t going to be.