SAS: Red Notice | When Putting Your Stamp On It Was Not Needed

If you’re going to make an action movie, this cast is well picked. I mean you have Sam Heughan (Outlander, Bloodshot), Hannah John-Kamen (Ant-Man and the Wasp), Andy Serkis (The Letter, Journey), Ruby Rose (John Wick 2) Tom Hopper (The Umbrella Academy), Noel Clarke (I kill Giant) and my guy Owain Yeoman (The Mentalist). It’s the cast I didn’t know needed in an action flick, so you can imagine my excitment. The director, Magnus Martens, and the writer, Laurence Malkin, were not know to me but the book this movie is based on, “Red Notice” by Andy McNab, is.

Premise: Tom Buckingham, a special forces operator, is taking Dr Sophie Hart from London to Paris to propose. When their train is deep inside the Channel Tunnel it is hijacked by heavily armed mercenaries, led by Grace Lewis, who threatens to blow up the Channel Tunnel. Unarmed and cut off from his counter terror team, Tom is the only hope that Sophie and the other passengers have to make it out alive. To save them he must embrace the unique psychology that makes Grace such a formidable adversary. 

Review: This movie looks great, like a proper action movie, with the explosions, the guns and the fight scenes. There I started with something nice.

I see books and movies as separate entities. They are different mediums, so I don’t expect a movie based on a novel to be just like the source material. I’m open to changes, they often are need for a successful adaptation into a different medium, but sometimes writers and directors just want to make the material their own. I can understand that but when their ability is not up to par it’s problematic. There are nonsensical elements of the plot that would have noticed for sure if I hadn’t read Andy McNab‘s Red Notice but they become glaring because I did. When writers change shit for the sake of changing shit, why base on the book? why not just write your own subpar story?

They took the story in the book and updated some aspects of it, which makes sense, but they went to far. A lot of these changes I like. Some of them I liked. But in an effort of differentiate Tom Buckingham, to the Jack Ryan, Jason Bourne, and Ethan Hunt of the genre they’ve made him a sociopath who’s able to fall in love. Who thought of that? It’s an interesting take but was it needed? They’ve stripped the protagonist and antagonist of their intelligence and skill.

SAS: Red Notice could have just been a watchable waste of a great cast but it’s made to look worse when you know how well crafted the source material is. I mean Eurostar didn’t want their brand associated with that movie. Do yourself a favor just get the book.

Rating: 5 out of 10.

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