SAS: Red Notice: Film Review

SAS: Red Notice

I wasn’t originally intending to check out SAS: Red Notice because it looked like a mindless action blockbuster with little substance but I was swayed by the star-studded cast and gave it a watch – and my original assumption was correct.

The film, directed by Magnus Martens, stars Sam Heughan as Tom Buckingham, an ex-Special Forces soldier who is taking his girlfriend, Dr Sophie Hart (Hannah John-Kamen), from London to Paris via the Eurostar (or Eurostream, as it’s called here) with the intention of proposing, but their romantic plans are abruptly halted when Tom realises Grace Lewis (Ruby Rose), the leader of a group of mercenaries called the Black Swans, and her team are on the train. They stop it in the middle of the Channel Tunnel and hold the passengers hostage and threaten to blow up a gas pipeline that runs alongside it unless the British government gives in to their demands. Basically, they want the Prime Minister (Ray Panthaki) to admit he commissioned them to “clear up” a village in Georgia.

The idea that the British government was secretly working with the Black Swans and the private military group had SAS members in their pocket was interesting but it was never properly explored. Nothing or nobody is really explored with any depth here. This is basically a non-stop action movie with one-dimensional stereotypical characters, an unengaging plot, and cliched dialogue. Considering there is so much action, you would assume it’s exciting to watch but it gets very boring very quickly and I switched off a bit. I just didn’t care about anybody or anything.

It starts off OK, with a certain amount of intrigue surrounding Andy Serkis‘ character Clements and which side he was on, but it all falls apart once the train comes to a halt in the tunnel. It is basically a game of cat and mouse between Tom and the Swans and I felt so meh about the whole thing. Heughan plays a very bland hero who is super British in a cliched way so you don’t really care about him. I felt some connection to Sophie as she is caught up in it and uses her medical expertise to help hostages, but then her character changes towards the end in a totally unrealistic and unbelievable way.

However, on the positive side, Rose was convincing as the cold-hearted psychopath, and Serkis did well as the duplicitous Clements, and there are plenty more familiar faces to see, including Noel Clarke and Tom Wilkinson.

SAS: Red Notice is a cliched and unoriginal by-the-book action movie with stock characters and questionable CGI. I wouldn’t recommend this one.

On Sky Cinema from Friday 12th March

Rating: 2 out of 5.

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