SAS: Red Notice
The Andy McNab phenomenon is easy to miss if one isn’t inclined toward the nationalistic, but the author’s brand of jingoistic military adventure is the stuff that litters airports, Malaga beaches and charity shops up and down The British Isles. Of these, the Tom Buckingham series has long awaited a cinematic adaptation – this brutish Bond figure was set for the big screen in 2014. SAS: Red Notice now appears on Sky screens, starring the relatively unknown Action Man Sam Heughan as the protagonist, and directed by Norwegian genius Magnus Martens, who competently takes viewers through a litany of set-pieces.
Buckingham chases The Black Swan mercenary family: a team of war criminals including siblings Ruby Rose and Owain Yeoman as Grace and Olly. The duo – presided over by their father, an incredibly shriveled Tom Wilkinson – are responsible for a manor of atrocities. They eventually orchestrate a terror attack on the Channel tunnel, which the film’s lead is conveniently travelling on with his girlfriend.
This Taking of Pelham 123 set-up is sheer nonsense, but a gunfight in Hampstead livens the place up, and the feature has enough ridiculous twists and turns to keep the viewer mildly engaged. Andy Serkis brings his greasy villain energy to the role of Clements: an aviator-wearing, toothpick-chewing bagman for the British military. The movie drifts by without much notice: bulging muscles, fast cuts and colourful explosions are the name of the game.
The whole flick exists in a dreamworld vision of Britain. These fantasy versions take the form of the Eurostar (Eurostream) where champagne flows and the aisles are wide enough for two people to pass, British intelligence that uncovers and disposes of the wrong-uns; even in a shot of the White Cliffs of Dover that haven’t been severely damaged by climate change. SAS: Red Notice is young and dumb, but come on, who believes in all this?
SAS: Red Notice is released on Sky on 12th March 2021.
Watch the trailer for SAS: Red Notice here: