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Why Red Notice Is So Popular On Netflix (Despite Being So Bad)

Warning! SPOILERS for Red Notice

Netflix's Red Notice was met with largely negative reviews upon its release on Netflix, yet the blockbuster heist is somehow on the way to becoming the most popular movie in the history of the streaming platform. In the first week following Red Notice’s release, the Netflix Global Top 10 website revealed that Red Notice has garnered an astounding 148.7 million hours of views. While many were stumped why Netflix allowed the budget for Red Notice to reach $200 million, it would seem that Netflix made the right call.

In fact, the next most popular movies on Netflix can’t hold a candle to Red Notice’s viewership hours. For instance, the hit romcom movie Love Hard garnered just 58.5 million hours of views. Meanwhile, the pop spaghetti Black western The Harder They Fall garnered only 33 million hours -- and this is after these two movies have been streaming on Netflix for two weeks. This begs the question: what made Red Notice different enough from other Netflix titles for the star-studded film to garner exponentially more views than other popular releases on its first week alone?

Related: Red Notice's Rock & Reynolds Product Placement Highlights Why It Failed

Red Notice’s runaway success can be attributed mainly to its stellar cast. Commercially speaking, a movie doesn’t really need a groundbreaking plot when it’s starred by the likes of Gal Gadot, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, and Ryan Reynolds, who, by themselves, can draw millions of viewers. Netflix just proved that, as a trio, no amount of cliché writing can stop these A-listers from winning. Apart from the movie’s sheer star power, Red Notice also has a fast-paced plot that, despite its various twists and mysteries, is very easy to follow. These twists are clever enough to be interesting to anyone who likes heist movies, albeit never to the point of alienating those who don’t want to bother with deciphering puzzles while trying to simply enjoy the action. On top of all that, the movie never takes itself too seriously, which is its main saving grace. For instance, Reynolds not only breaks the fourth wall and calls Cleopatra’s third egg a McGuffin, but he even pokes fun at The Rock and Vin Diesel’s feud by saying how frightening it must be to behold Diesel’s audition tape for the universally hated musical Cats. By allowing Reynolds to go full Deadpool, Red Notice casts an even wider net to appeal to superhero fans.

In fact, the three stars – Gadot, Reynolds, and The Rock – basically play the same characters that have made them famous and lovable over the last couple years. These characters are, of course, Wonder Woman, Deadpool, and every action star that The Rock has played in every comedic action movie he’s ever made millions in. It’s a formula that manages to both earn the ire of film critics while also catering to the highest possible number of streaming fans. Notably, while Rotten Tomatoes’ critics give the movie a dismal 35% score, Red Notice scored an impressive 92% with audiences. It seems that only critics are concerned with Red Notice’s clichés and predictable twists. The massive gap between these scores only adds to Red Notice’s rising notoriety.

Given enough time, Red Notice might just evolve into a "so bad it's good" movie classic. Given the movie’s heavy use of time-tested blockbuster formulas, it’s really no surprise that Red Notice is such a hit. After all, no one can look away from a train wreck, especially if the train in question is a gaudy $200 million action sequence that’s being driven by three of the most famous faces on the planet.

More: Red Notice: What Are They Going To Steal At The End?

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