Without a doubt, fans around the globe love the John Wick franchise and the world that Keanu Reeves and the cast and crew have worked to create. So, it’s without surprise and honestly about time that a spinoff has been released, The Continental: From the World of John Wick.
The three-part television series is an origin story of sorts for not just sometimes ally Winston Scott, but also his titular New York Continental Hotel, and Charon. And, naturally with an origin story, there are various new characters introduced to flesh out this world before the one audiences are more familiar with, such as Winston’s older brother Frankie, Frankie’s wife Yen, the Burton siblings, and detective KD Silva. But a story isn’t complete without its antagonist, Cormac O’Connor played by Mel Gibson. I don’t remember the last time I saw Mel Gibson in something besides a recording of him being obscenely offensive over the phone, but that same sinister element is on full display in his role as the primary foe in The Continental.
The attempt at spinning off the John Wick franchise for television was a valiant effort, but for me it did not quite stick the landing. Across three 90-minute episodes, this format provides for more episodic storytelling each week than I can remember in recent memory. It can be difficult to recall certain tie backs between each episode as the characters embark on their own individual journeys throughout the story before intersecting with one another as certain truths are revealed and conflicts resolve following escalation.
And while the series takes place during the 1970s, the cinematography could have benefited from borrowing the sheen and luster of the decade as many scenes take place in dimly lit or darkened settings. I would say that The Continental is missing that electric buzz in its visual storytelling that the films have, and what I am referring to is hard to put into words but it’s this feeling that lures one in with each scene and action. And while it isn’t present, it’s certainly not a must-have. One could say that without it, the show feels a bit dated and independent from the films, as they should be, since despite being a potential cash cow of the John Wick franchise it is still a creative endeavor that deserves to be recognized as its own body of work.
Looking at what the series does well includes the action, which brings a quality that is rarely seen on television. The showrunners certainly found a way to encapsulate the John Wick formula for intense and gritty action shots for a tv show budget. It isn’t afraid to dip its toes in the absurd and ridiculous at times, providing some necessary lightheartedness during the life or death fight scenes our characters find themselves in.
The Continental wasn’t the best viewing experience for me with one episode at time each week, but all three episodes are now available on Peacock. If you’re a fan of John Wick or the action genre, then definitely give the series a try. Four and a half hours might seem like an intimidating amount of consumption all at once, but try not to space each episode out too far, as some of the momentum may become lost. If you’ve seen the series, then please let us know what you thought in the comments below.
Where to watch The Continental: From the World of John Wick.
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