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  • Writer's pictureGareth Bradwick

SAS: Red Notice ★★

Magnus Martens

Starring Sam Heughan, Ruby Rose, Andy Serkis, Tom Wilkinson, Noel Clarke

If it’s Friday night and you suddenly find that you haven’t had quite enough meat and testosterone in your takeaway, this action thriller, based on the novel by Andy Mcnab, will definitely put hairs on your chest, your back and probably your elbows too.

The plot sees a brutal gangster family wreak havoc on the establishment; we end up in a hostage situation half way along the channel tunnel as the SAS do what they can to finish the job and keep as much as possible away from the public eye. This all includes a surprisingly sweary Andy Serkis and a subdued Noel Clarke along with a host of other ensemble cast both old and new.

At first it takes a while to get in to the groove of the movie, not least due to the need to adjust to Gollum swearing every other word. But once the story finds its rhythm there is a lot of fun to be had, especially in the opening half. As we enter the channel tunnel and things get hairy, the tension is real and there is a classic action vibe about proceedings, echoing the likes of Speed or Phone Booth.

However what is lacking with this film compared with the above is the script. Now it’s likely that most viewers aren’t walking in to this thinking they’re going to watch a timeless classic, but nonetheless the second half of the plot goes completely off the tracks (pardon the pun). We are asked to believe the unbelievable as people survive incidents better than the Looney Tunes style, while weather turns from sun to snow for absolutely no reason at all other than to look good. It is pointless to judge a movie like this too much though as it does what it says on the tin. Do you want some SAS realness? How about two hours of people shooting, swearing and mansplaining? You can have it all. It’s really fun in places and laugh out loud ridiculous in others. Chuck a vest on, have a mixed grill and enjoy.

SAS: Red Notice available now on NowTV and Sky Movies

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