Since the first film released in 2014, the John Wick saga has grown a lot. It all started with a story of revenge following the death of our hero's dog played by the iconic Keanu Reeves. Since then, this supercharged action franchise has continued to expand with four feature films on the clock and a new series of three episodes called The Continental which is released on September 22 on Amazon Prime Video .
This fiction explores the origins of the famous hotel owned by Winston Scott, a close friend of John Wick. This place is an extraordinary space because it is a territory which serves as a sanctuary for the underworld. Clearly, it is strictly forbidden to exercise any violence there, which makes this space conducive to meetings between criminals for dialogue. It’s sort of the UN of the mafia. So what is this spin-off worth? Here are our opinions (guaranteed without spoilers) on this production.
The least we can say is that the series is off to a very strong start. Frankie, Winston Scott's big brother, takes advantage of the New Year's euphoria in New York to try to steal gold. We immediately see what makes the saga so successful before our eyes: rhythmic action scenes, shootouts, ultra-violence, and charismatic gangsters set to epic music.
In the together, The Continentalcan please the general public, and without being a John Wick expert, I enjoyed watching this fairly well-paced first episode. However, we feel that there are many nods to the films, and that a more in-depth knowledge of the saga makes viewing even more enjoyable.
If we can address A criticism of this spin-off would be its tone a little too serious, and a slight lack of humor and offbeat to lighten the atmosphere. It is also regrettable that the vintage representation of New York is a little too postcard-like at times.
However, we do not shy away from our pleasure in front of these very well choreographed badass action scenes and these well embodied characters. Special mention to Colin Woodell in the lead role, and to Mel Gibson who makes his return.
The John Wick saga gains depth with this three-part series which may interest newcomers, and which will most likely delight fans of the genre.
It is with complete discretion that The Continental is showing up on Prime Video. After four films which met with significant success in theaters, Lionsgate followed the logical path: offering a spin-off series to John Wick.
Thus, The Continentalinvites us into the depths of a centerpiece of the cinematographic saga. But in this series, which is akin to a sort of new trilogy, John Wick is not yet in the game. No, this spin-off takes us back to New York in the 70s.
Like any good prequel, it's always nice to know more about a main element of a beloved saga like John Wick. We learn more about Winston Scott, who was until now a secondary character in the franchise, and about this emblematic hotel in the universe of John Wick.
The Continentaldoesn't really take any risks and this spin-off should appeal to fans of the film saga. The series is full of action scenes. Fights and other bloodshed are there. If the overall atmosphere of Continental is interesting and tickles our curiosity, this spin-off sometimes rings false. The fight scenes, especially. They are too choreographed and it is hard to really believe them. But The Continental can count on its actors and a gripping plot to make us forget all that.
Thus, these three episodes of around 1h30 each should delight fans of the first hour. Perhaps shorter and more numerous episodes would have been a wiser choice to convince newbies to John Wick. They may hesitate to dive headfirst into such a long adventure. But once that's done, they have every reason to cling to the franchise's universe.