April 22, 2024

THE CONTINENTAL (2023) – Incomparable to John Wick despite the association

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Rating: ⭐⭐

The Continental is set in the world of John Wick and tells the early years of one of the characters in the John Wick movies – Winston Scott, who is the owner of the Continental Hotel in the movie franchises. Here we see his humble beginnings as a young boy growing up to eventually end up as the head of the hotel. In the movies Winston is played by veteran actor Ian McShane. Here he is played by a little-known actor by the name of Colin Woodell. Colin does not half the charisma of Keanu Reeves and has a forgettable face. In fact, Ben Robson who played Winston’s brother, Frankie had a far more commanding presence and his few explosive moments were probably the series’ best scenes.

Invariably there will be comparisons between the TV series and the John Wick movies and the question is whether it can live up to the movie franchises’ high standards? Unfortunately, this is a resounding “no”. While the first episode (out of 3 feature length episodes) did kick off with some “John Wick” style moments, this was not to be the case for the rest of the series. For me, the main factor that is different is that there is too much story and details going on here. With the luxury of time given in a miniseries format, the series is bogged down with too much yakety yak and not enough of the explosive and highly skilled choreographed action scenes that we have come to expect with increasing anticipation in the John Wick movie series. John Wick movies were never popular because of the dialouge but more for its outlandish action set pieces. There is also a dire lack of star power in the series with only familiar face provided by Mel Gibson. At least Mel Gibson gets to have some fun playing the series’ most colourful character, the villainous and cold-blooded Cormac O’Conner, the existing head of the Continental at that time. He did a good job being the bad guy and stole the scenes every time he appears. But, since he is the baddie here, there is a foregone conclusion that his character will meet a dreadful fate at the end.

The Continental fails to set any new standards in TV action fare and offers nothing innovative. It is purely leaning on its link to the John Wick franchise for its survival which is not going to be sustainable if it intends to start a successful TV franchise series. It can never live up to John Wick’s standard and offers nothing to make it stand out from the never-ending supplying of similar series from the Hollywood churn factory.

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