TV MINI-SERIES REVIEW
The Continental: From the World of John Wick
Genre: Action, Crime, Thriller
Year Released: 2023
Runtime: 3 x 80m
Developed by: Greg Coolidge, Kirk Ward, Shawn Simmons
Director(s): Albert Hughes (Parts 1 & 3), Charlotte Brandstrom (Part 2)
Writer(s): Greg Coolidge, Kirk Ward, Shawn Simmons
Cast: Mel Gibson, Colin Woodell, Mishel Prada, Ben Robson, Hubert Point-Du Jour, Nhung Kate, Jessica Allain, Ayomide Adegun, Jeremy Bobb, Peter Greene
Where To Watch: The three-part event premieres September 22, 2023, followed by Night 2, airing September 29, and Night 3, airing October 6
RAVING REVIEW: Let's face it; taking a stroll down cinematic memory lane can be a tricky endeavor. Spin-offs are seldom met with consistent praise, but that should change now! Enter THE CONTINENTAL: FROM THE WORLD OF JOHN WICK, which navigates the world of 1970s New York City and leaves us marveling at the grandeur of an old hotel. Instead of just flashing glimpses of familiar sights, the series entices us into the hidden alleys of young Winston Scott's life, portrayed brilliantly by Colin Woodell, as we pull back the curtains of the infamous hotel's enigmatic beginnings.
In a realm where TV series sometimes lazily lean into worn-out action tropes, THE CONTINENTAL boldly charts its course and takes the world we know but adds an entirely new layer. As for the score, it's a delightful mix of soul-stirring rhythms and audacious tunes that most will be able to sing along with, ensuring every episode resonates even after the screen fades. I can’t imagine the budget spent on the songs alone!
Director (Parts 1 & 3) Albert Hughes and Charlotte Brandstrom (Part 2) ensure we get more than reheated leftovers. They bring an exciting and vibrant cinematic experience layered with depth and authenticity. The original John Wick director, Chad Stahelski, was said to have sprinkled his narrative magic here and there, making it a delightful collaboration of creative minds. Allowing this series to pay homage to Wick’s saga while showing there is more here than just his story.
Young Winston, previously seen as the seasoned owner, is now brought to life with fresh vigor by Woodell. We dive into the tumultuous waters of his youth, especially as he desperately tries to save Frankie, his brother. Ben Robson gives Frankie that edge we’re used to in this universe, while Mel Gibson, as the intimidating Cormac, provides the perfect foil (even with his problematic real-world past.).
But wait, there's more! Ayomide Adegun steps into the legendary shoes of Charon, and boy, does he leave an impression! These were massive shoes to fill, as the late Lance Reddick previously portrayed Charon and, in my eyes, was the heart and soul of The Continental (even more than Winston.)
Basil Iwanyk, one of the franchise producers, has always emphasized that the allure of John Wick wasn't just gunfights and showdowns. It was about a rich universe where every character had a story to tell. THE CONTINENTAL takes this philosophy to heart, presenting us with a world where every alley has a story, every corner a hidden tale. The easter eggs alone have made this universe rich and allowed you to have endless stories. We get a narrative pulsating with life, brimming with twists, and glistening with cinematic vision.
In conclusion, THE CONTINENTAL: FROM THE WORLD OF JOHN WICK isn't just a run-of-the-mill extension of a beloved universe. Think of it as a treasure chest, where every episode is a gem waiting to be discovered. Whether you're a die-hard series loyalist or just someone looking for an enthralling watch, this series guarantees a feast for the eyes and the soul. So, sit back and let the cinematic adventure unfold!
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[photo courtesy of LIONSGATE, PEACOCK]
MY SAG-AFTRA/WGA STRIKE STATEMENT:
As an advocate for creators, actors, and writers, I firmly stand with SAG-AFTRA and the WGA in their current strike. The entertainment industry is built on these individuals' extraordinary talents, and their contributions must be appropriately recognized and rewarded. They deserve fair compensation, sensible work hours, and respect for their creative rights. I believe in the power of unity and collective action, and I'm steadfast in my support for their fight for better working conditions and fair remuneration. Together, we can shape a more equitable future in the entertainment world.
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