OFFICIAL-NETFLIX~! SAS: Red Notice (2021) in 720p Coverage Online Streaming 2021
SAS: Red Notice (2021)
SAS: Red Notice is a 2021 British action thriller film directed by Magnus Martens, based on the novel of the same name by Andy McNab and starring Sam Heughan, Ruby Rose, Andy Serkis, Hannah John-Kamen, Tom Hopper, Noel Clarke, Owain Yeoman, Ray Panthaki, Anne Reid and Tom Wilkinson.
SAS: Red Notice was released in the United Kingdom on 12 March 2021 by Sky Cinema
The film is based on the eponymous novel by former SAS operator Andy McNab, who has had a second career as a best-selling author based on his experiences during his time in service. Heughan had the opportunity to spend time with McNab in pre-production and on set as in order to get just the right swagger to realistically portray Tom.
“I wanted to do as much of the action as I could myself,” Heughan tells Parade.com. “I love doing that and have a great amount of experience from other movies and, obviously, Outlander, too. So, I did a lot of training beforehand, tactically and working with the Special Forces to learn the military side of it.”
He continued, “Andy’s intriguing because, to be honest, the character of Tom Buckingham is very much based on Andy and Andy is himself a good psychopath,” Heughan says. “It was fascinating to talk to McNab about the psychopathy and what it means to be someone that doesn’t have empathy or doesn’t have emotions.”
There isn’t a kilt in sight when Outlander star Sam Heughan gears up for his latest role as special forces operator Tom Buckingham in SAS: Red Notice. Rather, think more along the lines of John McClane, James Bond and Jason Bourne as Tom is taking his girlfriend Dr. Sophie Hart (Hannah John-Kamen) from London to Paris to propose when their train is taken over by a well-trained group of mercenaries led by Grace Lewis (Ruby Rose). Tom has to singlehandedly come to the rescue to save Sophie and the rest of the passengers.
Luckily, Tom realizes he does have true feelings of love for Sophie. But not nearly with the passion that Heughan’s Outlander character Jamie Fraser feels for wife Claire (Caitriona Balfe).
Heughan, Balfe and the rest of the cast and crew are back in Scotland working on Season 6 of the Starz series. And Heughan tells us he believes that the Jamie/Claire relationship is what is keeping fans tuning in season after season.
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“I think why we love Outlander is the fact that this couple still is deeply in love with each other and still marvel in that love,” he says. “It’s definitely something we’d all aspire to and wish we could have ourselves.” It’s true; we wouldn’t mind having Jamie’s love ourselves. He continues, “Jamie and Claire have been together a long time now and we get to see them be a bit more domestic in Season 6. It’s nice to sit with them for an hour of every episode and just see how good they are together.”
Heughan spoke more with Parade.com about the makeup of Tom’s mind, what it was like to do a brutal fight scene with Ruby Rose and stepping back into Jamie’s boots for Season 6 of Outlander. Plus, he teases a little of what lies ahead for Jamie.
Tom Buckingham is a wealthy man. What drives him to become a military man?
It’s interesting, isn’t it? He could have the opportunity to go into the military at the officer level, but he’s gone in from the bottom and worked his way up, which, I think, is what makes him well-liked by his fellow comrades. He’s an interesting guy. What drives him? Well, what drives a psychopath? I think it’s an intriguing question, but he definitely thrives in the military. It’s certainly a place that his abilities really come to the forefront.
What was it like fighting with a woman?
Well, it was intriguing. We talked about it because she’s definitely smaller than I am and not as strong as Tom. So, we talked about, how would she be a threat? And the point is, these are two very skilled, highly motivated people that want to end the other one’s life. So, she’s vicious. She will not stop. And she, literally, uses her body against Tom. She’ll jump on him almost like a small dog. She won’t let go. It was a fun fight to choreograph and to watch because it’s brutal.
So, you’re saying that he’s a psychopath? Because at the beginning of the film, they say one percent of people are psychopaths and those who learn to love are as rare as black swans, so is he a black swan?
Yes, I think so. I think he’s a good psychopath. We allude to it. We never really say it, but clearly, Ruby’s character as well has the same ability. And, quite possibly, her father, played by Tom Wilkinson, also is a psychopath. It’s interesting because Tom, obviously, has never really known what’s wrong with him. He knows there’s something different about him, and it becomes clear during the course of the movie, but the even more interesting thing is that he has feelings at the end of the movie. So, he’s on this board where he can turn it on and turn it off a little bit; it’s not just black and white. He does have a little bit of humanity in him, I think.
Even though this is an action film, when we got to the end, I felt, there’s a great lesson here: We don’t as regular citizens understand the price that we pay for things like gas. Do you agree that was a message from the film?
Interestingly, and again, it’s all based on the actual reality. Andy has talked extensively to me and to other people about how the military operates and how the government operates. And this is true. This is what happens. There are these very, very gray areas. There’s a lot of big business involved in politics and in the military as well. And the military is sometimes used to help these companies. So, it’s a very, very dark, very murky world. And it really depends. There’s no real good side or bad side; there’s no good guys and bad guys. It just depends which side you’re on, who’s paying you. So, yes, I think there’s definitely something to be learned here.
At the very end, it seems like they left it open for a sequel because there’s another mission. Is a sequel a possibility?
We’ve talked about it a great deal. I think we will want to explore the character more because, by the end of the movie, it’s only really the beginning for Tom. He’s just discovered that he’s a psychopath really and that he also has emotion, so that’s an intriguing place and it would be fun to explore what that means for Tom and where he goes with this new knowledge. And, of course, Declan [Tom Hopper] is still out there. So, there’s vengeance to be had. I think we would love to do a sequel if people enjoy the movie.
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You’ve worked on quite a few projects during quarantine, including what you’re filming now, Outlander Season 6. What’s it like to be back in Jamie’s boots after the delay? Season 6 has a hard decision for him. He will have to decide he’s going to side with the colonists. But, he must have qualms about that.
You’re absolutely right. He knows he’s on the wrong side. He knows he’s going to be on the losing side. Obviously, from Claire, he knows from history what’s going to happen. The War of Independence is getting closer and Jamie knows eventually he’s going to be on the side of the rebels. That’s where his true loyalty lies. But, yeah, it’s getting very complicated for him. And the events of Season 5 have an impact. Claire was assaulted, so the whole family is still dealing with that. It’s not an easy time right now.
What’s it like filming Outlander in the time of COVID?
To be honest, we’re there and we’re doing well. We’re keeping everyone safe. I think that’s the most important part. It’s now the third thing I’ve done during COVID–Men in Kilts and then also Text for You, the movie I filmed over Christmas. So, it’s become like a habit and it’s easier, but it’s not easy. No, the practicalities of it are extremely taxing and hard and it slows things down. But also, I think mentally, everyone’s slightly been affected by this. Despite being on set, you still feel that people are nervous. So, I’m glad that we’re keeping everyone safe for sure.
With Daniel Craig’s final Bond movie on the horizon, it’s that time again where every British leading man fields questions about whether they would like to take over. This week it’s the turn of Outlander star Sam Heughan, who raised the issue in an interview with Esquire Magazine. He’s the right age, has a strong fanbase, and appears to have an audition tape in the form of new Sky Cinema action film SAS: Red Notice.
He plays Tom, a man from a wealthy background who has forged a career as an elite SAS operative. Having lived for his job until now, his view on the future is changed as he plans to propose to his girlfriend Sophie (Hannah John-Kamen) in Paris.
En route to The City of Love, however, he finds that an old enemy Grace (Ruby Rose) has highjacked the train and is holding it hostage in The Channel Tunnel. With her team involved in a corrupt government mission, Tom’s superiors are keen to simply eliminate Grace along with innocent passengers. It’s up to him to save Sophie and the passengers, while also rooting out the comrades working against him.
Aside from very official sounding SAS language, this is Die Hard On The Eurostar (or ‘”Eurostream”, as presumably the real company didn’t fancy seeing their trains blown up). The set-up is very similar, right down to our hero being in the toilet when the terrorists board, and relies on the same convenient twists of fate to keep the plot going.
Coincidences are part of the action genre, however. What’s less forgivable is the grunty, stilted dialogue and TV drama production values. A military head honcho (Andy Serkis) screams “What are you, the head of a farrrkin’ knittin’ circle?”, while Heughan has a ropey quip for every occasion. There’s a lot of star quality on display, but there’s only so much you can do.
Recognisable faces pop up here and there – Noel Clarke, who had a role in Sky’s February release Twist, appears as Tom’s superior; Tom Wilkinson drops by for a couple of scenes as Grace’s father; and Tom Hopper (The Umbrella Academy) brings some machismo as Tom’s best friend. Serkis is used sporadically, but makes an impression each time as the man with the ear of the Prime Minister, and while it’s missing his usual nuance, he creates the right level of intimidation.
Having made waves as TV’s Batwoman last year, Ruby Rose is impressive as the cold-hearted villain. There’s a loose narrative thread from the Andy McNab-penned script about people needing to be without feeling to exist in this world, and Rose fits the bill with strong action scenes and a great range of villainous stares. John-Kamen becomes the film’s secondary hero (handily, Sophie is a doctor more than equipped to help the hostages), as well as the film’s moral centre as she melts Heughan’s hard exterior.
As for the star himself, he’s the archetypal square-jawed action hero. There isn’t enough in the script to showcase any 007 charm, but he certain knows his way around a fight scene and has the right kind of presence. Those looking for omens will be interested to know Pierce Brosnan made a similar film, 1993’s Death Train, prior to stepping into the tuxedo.
Like Sky’s own TV series Strike Back and numerous other SAS-inspired dramas, SAS: Red Notice is a glossy, testosterone-filled ride that will pass an evening for those who love their action big and blunt. It’s unlikely to guarantee Heughan’s casting as the world’s greatest secret agent, but it won’t do him any harm either.
SAS: Red Notice promises a face-off between two popular TV stars: Ruby Rose, the high-profile lead of Batwoman (who also made a high-profile exit from the series after a single season) and Sam Heughan, who’s played the dreamy Jamie Fraser on Outlander for the past five seasons. Not only does the movie deliver on that promise, it also constructs an action-packed story around the pair that makes for an entertaining, if not groundbreaking, diversion.The film centers on Heughan’s Tom Buckingham, an operator with the SAS, a special forces unit of the British Army. Tom is sent to apprehend the Lewis family, which includes father William (Tom Wilkinson), son Oliver (Owain Yeoman) and daughter Grace (Rose), after a Red Notice for their criminal activities in the Republic of Georgia is issued by Interpol. Of course, there’s far more behind the Lewis’ actions than meets the eye, so in response to the British government’s moves against her family, Grace amasses her team and takes control of a Paris-bound train in the middle of the Channel Tunnel. Grace demands a hefty ransom and safe passage in exchange for the train full of hostages and an implied promise not to reveal what really happened in Georgia. However, things get complicated when Tom happens to be on the same train with his doctor girlfriend Sophie (Hannah John-Kamen), who he’s planning to propose to. Tom quickly springs into action to bring Grace and her team down before they can hurt anyone, especially the woman he loves.
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While the plot is reminiscent of Die Hard and the many other movies that have borrowed its basic blueprint, SAS: Red Notice, which is based on a book by former real-life SAS operator Andy McNab, has enough thrills to keep things humming along. Plus, the love story between Tom and Sophie — and Tom’s determination to make it to Paris to propose — gives the plot extra stakes. Both Heughan and Rose turn in solid performances, with Rose in particular seeming more confident and at ease than she often did playing the hero in Batwoman. Meanwhile, the stunt and action sequences, which include a lot of gunplay and plenty of fights, are well executed and inventive enough to keep viewers invested in their outcome.
Despite the formulaic story, there’s one thing that sets SAS: Red Notice apart. In the first moments of the film, before the plot has been put into motion, a voiceover by Wilkinson provides a brief definition of psychopaths: namely, that they only make up one percent of the population, often inherit the disorder and are incapable of love — except for the even more rare psychopaths who learn to love. After bringing this to the viewer’s attention, the film uses it as a jumping off point to make a connection between Grace and Tom and the characteristics they supposedly have in common. Of course, the word “psychopath” has become shorthand for the motivation behind any number of shocking and problematic behaviors — especially in pop culture — but psychopathy is still being studied by psychologists and psychiatrists, and what it consists of and how it’s diagnosed is not yet settled. As a result, the film’s simplistic sketch of the disorder would be far from satisfactory if it were applied to a real person.
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Within the context of the film, though, this setup has mixed results. On the one hand, it creates an interesting way of understanding the two main characters, while also explaining their worldviews. This helps deepen and give additional dimension to Tom and Grace’s actions and eventual interplay, positioning them as more alike than their locations on opposite sides of the film’s central conflict would otherwise make it appear. On the other, it makes Sophie’s willingness to stay with Tom less understandable, especially given her work involves saving people’s lives and his often involves ending them. Moreover, this leads to at least one strangely timed interlude where Tom discusses love with a little girl he saves from the train. Still, while no one should believe they have a good understanding of psychopathy after watching SAS: Red Notice, the introduction of the concept at least stirs something different into a tried-and-true formula.
This isn’t the most memorable film, but it’s a competent actioner that will satisfy anyone who enjoys gritty stories in which one good man goes up against a group of ruthless, well-prepared bad guys. While it’s a bit too long and viewers’ interest in the film’s love story and musings on psychopathy may vary, SAS: Red Notice includes more than enough whiz-bang action to stay exciting.
SAS: Red Notice, starring Sam Heughan, Ruby Rose, Andy Serkis, Hannah John-Kamen, Tom Wilkinson, Owain Yeoman and Tom Hopper, is available On Demand on Tuesday, March 16.
SAS: Red Notice is available on Sky Cinema from 12th March