Today at 10:15 p.m., ZDF is showing “SAS: Red Notice” as a free TV premiere. We’ll tell you whether it’s worth switching on to the top-class action thriller and why you can sometimes find it under a different title.
In Germany, “SAS: Red Notice” was released in spring 2021 for home cinema on DVD and Blu-ray and as a stream for purchase or rental. However, Netflix secured the rights for large parts of the world and has been showing the action thriller by director Magnus Martens (“Furia”) in these countries on the streaming platform as a subscription since summer 2021 – albeit under a different title. Because the film is circulating there as “SAS: Rise Of The Black Swan”. The simple reason: Netflix is known to publish its own prestige project “Red Notice” with Dwayne Johnson, Ryan Reynolds and Gal Gadot later in 2021. We wanted to avoid possible confusion.
In Germany, “SAS: Red Notice” should now get its biggest boost in popularity through the TV broadcast. After all ZDF is showing the action thriller on June 13, 2022 in the very popular Monday feature film slot at 10:15 p.m. – without commercial breaks and unabridged.
If you miss the broadcast, there will be another repeat from Tuesday (June 14) to Wednesday (June 15) at 1 a.m. But is it worth turning on?
» “SAS: Red Notice” on Amazon*
“SAS: Red Notice”: Unfortunately a tired “Die Hard” knock-off
In SAS: Red Notice, a terrorist squad led by siblings Grace (Ruby Rose) and Oliver Lewis (Owain Yeoman) hijacks a London-Paris train. But they reckoned without the SAS elite soldier Tom Buckingham (Sam Heughan). He is on board with his girlfriend Sophie (Hannah John-Kamen) for a romantic trip to the French capital.
At first, Tom just wants to run away with his love, but because the dutiful doctor Sophie is taking care of the injured and doesn’t want to run away, he has to take on the dangerous Grace and her team. The big showdown takes place in the Eurotunnel…
The story sounds like one of the numerous Die Hard revenants – just on the train. This isn’t new (see Red Alert 2 with Steven Seagal), but can be fun. Yet “SAS: Red Notice” wants to be much more than a straight-line action rush – and so, starting with the prologue, subplot after subplot is opened up.
The Lewis siblings are not conventional terrorists. Her father William (Tom Wilkinson) runs a private army that does the dirty work for the western governments of the world. But because the brutal human rights violations in the evacuation of a village in Eastern Europe for a gas pipeline were exposed, the British dropped him.
“Lord of the Rings” star Andy Serkis is also involved as the SAS commander who is supposed to cover up any government connections to the terrorists. But “SAS: Red Notice” gets bogged down in resulting twists and turns, in which “Umbrella Academy” star Tom Hopper also plays a role as SAS comrade and best friend of Tom. Again and again the action is slowed down enormously by all these background noises. The action itself, while solid for the most part, is nothing more than that.
40 years of action cult: One of the biggest Sylvester Stallone hits gets a limited anniversary edition with new content – get it now!
“Outlander” star Sam Heughan is also extremely solid, but those responsible couldn’t really decide whether to portray him as an over-the-top superhero or rather to follow in the footsteps of John McClane in the first “Die Hard” -Want to stage a film.
The project, based on a novel series, is also inflated with franchise finger pointing around his character. This not only applies to the (probably never coming) sequel teasing ending, but also to character backgrounds thrown in at random. We learn that the Buckingham family is very wealthy, as the name suggests, which is why the simple soldier calls a stately property his own.
“SAS: Red Notice” is best when such absurdities break with the action thriller that takes itself far too seriously and its geopolitical comments. The prominent cast also stands out ruby rose out of here. The ex-Batwoman acts as terror leader Grace time and time again completely over the top – especially when she puts her much less smart brother in his place. While this is inconsistent and doesn’t really fit with the rest of the film, it’s still quite fun at times.
But in the end, such moments are far too rare and can’t save the two-hour action thriller. “SAS: Red Notice‘ is a very disappointing Die Hard knockoff. We therefore advise against it.
Mixture of Deadpool & Arnold Schwarzenegger: “Cobra Kai” makers film legendary action video game “Duke Nukem”
*The link to the Amazon offer is a so-called affiliate link. If you make a purchase through this link, we will receive a commission.