The Continental Review: Misses Its Target
“The Continental,” with its promise of underworld dealings and bullet-riddled etiquette, arrives with the swagger of a hitman confident in his mark. Yet, as the smoke clears, it fails to deliver the fatal blow, merely wounding our expectations.
The series, a prequel to the balletic violence of the “John Wick” films, attempts to weave the same tapestry of intrigue and action. It introduces us to the eponymous hotel, a sanctuary for the criminal elite, where the clink of whiskey glasses punctuates the silence between gunfire. The show’s creators have stitched together a narrative that seeks to expand the mythos, yet it occasionally frays at the edges. While the action sequences are meticulously choreographed, they lack the visceral punch of their cinematic counterparts. Worse, the tight, stylish thriller vibe loses its luster without the film’s star power and visual flair.
From the outset, “The Continental” struggles to find its footing. The opening sequence, while stylistically ambitious, feels like a pastiche of better shows that have come before it. The series aims for a noir-esque sophistication but lands in the realm of cliché, with a visual language that is more weary than it is world-weary. The narrative of “The Continental” is a convoluted affair, a labyrinthine plot that might have been intriguing if it weren’t so suffocated by its own complexity. The show’s pacing is erratic, with episodes that drag on forever, punctuated by bursts of action that seem to serve no purpose other than to wake the viewer from their stupor.
In its execution, “The Continental” is a series that seems to misunderstand its audience. It’s a show that is too self-serious to be fun yet too riddled with inconsistencies to be taken seriously. The performances, while earnest, are hamstrung by characterizations that are as thin as the paper they’re written on. The cast struggles valiantly against the tide of the script, but there is only so much that can be done with fundamentally flawed material.
“The Continental” is a series that promises a feast for the senses but ends up being little more than empty calories. It is a show that is not entirely without merit, but whatever potential it has is squandered by poor choices in writing, direction, and overall conception.
RATING: 2.5 out of 5.
The Continental: From the World of John Wick is now streaming on Peacock.