The Continental Episode 1 Review: The worst thing to happen in the John Wick franchise since they killed the dog
The three things that made the John Wick movies so sucessfull were great action, great world-building, and Keanu Reeves. You take away these and you end up with The Continental.
The first John Wick movie came out at a time when action was mostly big-budget CGI battles or was poorly edited and filmed so you couldn't make sense most of the time in an intense action scene, but the John Wick franchise changed all that. So it is sad to see its spinoff do a 180 and ignore all the things the franchise accomplished.
The first episode is directed by Albert Hughes and is around an hour and 30 minutes long, a runtime that you will certainly feel.
The series is set in the 1970s and follows a young Winston Scott played by Colin Woodell, who is in a race against time to find his older brother before The High Table finds and kills him.
The biggest problem with the first episode is that you can't see anything. The entire episode is poorly lit and while the makers of the show may try to tell you it's to maintain the aesthetic of the era, I personally feel it's just an excuse to hide the bad green screen.
As for the very predictable story, it feels like this was originally meant to be a movie spinoff but the studio decided to turn it into a three-episode series with each episode being more than an hour long and it clearly shows as there are plenty of times in the episode I felt bored and just wished the show would get to the point.
As far as the acting is concerned, it's okay but it's clear that Colin Woodell is struggling to career the show as he lacks the charm and wit that Ian McShane displayed in the movies. Maybe the next two episodes may change that as it is written and directed by different people.
Another wasted opportunity is the character of Cormac played by Mel Gibson, who is barely given any screen time and is obviously the most interesting character in the episode.
It's a shame when you have an Oscar-winning actor at your disposal and you waste the opportunity. Even if he gets a chance to shine in the next two episodes, the showrunners hurt the prospects of the show by not using him well in its first episode, which will most likely make audiences lose interest in watching the remaining episodes.
So, The Continental is not off to a good start and is definitely not meant for fans of the movies. We will have to wait till next week to find out if this show can redeem itself or be another addition to the list of terrible movie spinoffs.