Netflix’s Red Notice is a cheesy heist film where all the bad guys suffer from “daddy issues.” Ryan Reynolds, who plays Nolan Booth, the best art thief in the world, constantly delivers witty punchlines to make up for a missing plot. Dwayne Johnson, who plays an FBI profiler, John Hartley, does what he does, and he doesn’t do much. While Gal Gadot’s performance as Sarah Black, aka The Bishop, another notorious art thief, is underutilized in the overall plot.
The story follows the hunt for Cleopatra’s three bejeweled golden eggs, presented to her by her lover, Mark Antony. In modern times, the archaeologist found two of Cleopatra’s eggs, but the third has been out of sight for centuries. An Egyptian billionaire makes an open offer to shower riches upon the person who brings all three eggs by the night of his daughter’s wedding (also known as Cleopatra).
Booth and the Bishop try to steal the eggs, while Hartley tracks the notorious thieves. Red Notice is written and directed by Rawson Marshall Thurber and is streaming on Netflix.
‘Red Notice’ Plot Summary – The Heist for Cleopatra’s First Leg
Nolan Booth narrates the opening voiceover. He informs the audience about the three bejeweled golden eggs gifted to Egyptian Queen Cleopatra on their wedding night by Mark Antony. For centuries, these eggs were thought to be a myth. But in 1907, a local farmer unearthed two eggs just outside of Cairo. However, the third was never found, and Nolan Booth decided to reunite all three eggs after 2000 years.
The first egg is on public display at the world-famous museum, Castel Sant’Angelo, in Rome. Booth prepares a fake egg in his laboratory and arrives in Rome to replace it. An FBI profiler, John Hartley, receives intelligence about the impending robbery from an art thief, The Bishop. He informs the Interpol agent, Urvashi Das, that Booth is planning to steal the egg of Cleopatra. However, Booth replaces the egg before the Interpol arrives. Hartley discovers the fake egg and runs after Booth. After an action-packed chase and run, Booth manages to escape.
Fifty-six hours later, Hartley and Das raided Booth’s secret hideout in Bali and recovered Cleopatra’s egg. Hartley informs Booth that the Bishop gave them intel about his location. However, as Interpol takes Booth to prison, the Bishop tricks Hartley’s and steals the egg.
The Bishop frames Hartley and puts 8 million dollars in his account. Das accuses Hartley of conspiring with the Bishop and sends him to prison in Russia. Coincidentally, Booth and Hartley end up becoming cell-mates. The cop-and-the-thief strike an unusual truce. Hartley wants to arrest the Bishop and clear his name, while Booth wants the egg back and become the world’s number one art thief again.
Heist for Cleopatra’s Second Egg
An international arms dealer, Sotto Voce, owned the second Cleopatra’s egg. Booth and Hartley ran away from the Russian prison and arrived at Sotto’s masquerade party in Valencia. The two sneaked into Sotto’s secret vault to steal the egg when Sarah Black, aka The Bishop, attacked them. The Bishop had made a pact with Sotto and informed him about the theft beforehand. Sotto captured Booth and Hartley to get the whereabouts of the third egg.
It was established that only Booth knew the location of the third egg. The Bishop interrogated Booth in an underground cellar, and he revealed that Cleopatra’s third egg was still in Egypt. He told her about a hidden chamber in the great pyramid. The Bishop tricked Sotto and left with the second egg.
Sotto opened fire on Booth and Hartley, but like always, they managed to deceive the devil and escape.
The Third Egg of Cleopatra
In his witty demeanor, Booth informed Hartley that he had lied to the Bishop. The third egg was not in Egypt. He revealed that Hitler’s personal art and antique dealer, Rudolf Zeich, possessed the third egg. After the fall of the Nazis, Rudolf fled Germany for Argentina and took all the stolen treasure with him.
He resumed his dad’s story and brought his father’s prized watch into the conversation. Booth informed Hartley that treasure hunters from all over the world had become obsessed with finding Hitler’s lost bunker. His father was one of them, and one day, he found his father’s watch in a drawer. Booth discovered that his father’s watch, which he loved more than his own son, belonged to Rudolf Zeich. In anger, Booth smashed the watch and discovered the secret coordinates of Hitler’s bunker inside the watch. The Third Egg of Cleopatra was hidden with other stolen art in Argentina.
Booth and Hartley found the secret bunker and recovered the third egg. However, the Bishop, who had been following them all along, pointed a gun at them and demanded the egg. Inspector Das arrived too, with the commandos, as she was also following someone or the other. Booth, Bishop, and Hartley took Hitler’s 1931 Mercedes-Benz Grosser 770 and drowned it in the water to escape the Interpol.
While the three of them managed to trick the law enforcement, it was time for them to decide who would keep all the three eggs and crack a deal with the Egyptian billionaire.
‘Red Notice’ Ending, Explained
At the beach, Hartley revealed that he was not a law-enforcement officer, but Bishop’s partner-in-crime. He gave the best logic of the century: there are two bishops in a chess game, and one can do the math. Booth, who could read hieroglyphics better than English, couldn’t have guessed that.
The two romantics, Hartley and Sarah, took the third egg from Booth and cuffed him to a tree. They presented the three eggs to the Egyptian billionaire and received their marbles. However, at his daughter’s wedding, Interpol seized the stolen eggs and arrested the Egyptian billionaire. Ed Sheeran was also arrested for his role in Game of Thrones.
Six months later, Booth visited Hartley and Sarah while they were vacationing in Sardinia. He revealed that he tipped Inspector Das about the wedding and managed to escape from the prison. He even informed Interpol about Bishop’s 300 million that they received from the Egyptian billionaire. Interpol froze Hartley and Sarah’s Cayman Island accounts, and now the two bishops were back to square one.
Booth confirmed that Inspector Das was on her way to arrest them. And thus, he presented an offer to Hartley and Sarah to help him in a three-thief job. With no money in the account, Sarah accepted the offer and convinced Hartley too. By the time Interpol arrived on the boat, the three thieves had already escaped. Interpol issued a red notice, the highest level of the arrest warrant, on their name.
Hartley, Sarah, and Booth arrived at the Louvre Pyramid Museum in Paris. The Louvre holds the most priceless art in the world. It seemed like a worthy playground for the world’s most notorious art thieves.
Red Notice is a 2021 Action Heist film written and directed by Rawson Marshall Thurber. It stars Gal Gadot, Ryan Reynolds and Dwayne Johnson in the lead roles. The film is streaming on Netflix.