‘The Continental: From the World of John Wick’ – ‘Brothers In Arms – Night 1’ – Review
Lock, load and get ready to run into the breach because it’s time to go back in time to where it all began with the all-action, high-energy, maximum damage television series The Continental: From the World of John Wick launches on Prime Video. And this series promises one hell of a kick for John Wick fans!
The Continental: From the World of John Wick tells the background story of how Winston Scott, in an alternate history 1970s, came to his position as proprietor of the New York branch of “The Continental” chain of hotels, safe havens for legal assassins on the grounds of which no business may ever take place.
Hollywood megastar Keanu Reeves and directorial force Chad Stahelski have re-shaped what action cinema means for audiences with their all-action John Wick saga. In just under a decade, these two virtuosos of action cinema have brought a new level of energy to the genre not previously seen and created one of the slickest, classiest and deadliest cinematic worlds for audiences to experience. And now John Wick fans get a chance to dive deeper into the dark and mysterious secrets of The Continental, the secretive institution that lies at the heart of the John Wick Universe. And it makes for a wild experience.
Celebrated filmmaker Albert Hughes (From Hell, The Book of Eli, The Good Lord Bird) steps up to helm Episode One of The Continental, ‘Brothers In Arms – Night 1’ and it’s a rush from beginning to end. Hughes and his audience take audiences back to a mob-ruled New York City, 1978, and a young Winston Scott (Colin Woodell) is ready to make his mark on the world. But a dark past leads him back to the crime-swept streets of New York City and into the foreboding presence and its dangerous and psychotic overlord Cormac O’Connor (Mel Gibson). Hughes is in his element with this series, bringing the sexed-up, glam-up age of the 70s to life, and it’s one hell of a party. With a style best described as ‘Disco Noir’ and Motown on repeat, The Continental series has a hell of an edge and packs a punch.
The Continental is an origin story for the enigmatic, suave and calculating Winston Scott, the dapper proprietor of The Continental and a long-time alley to John Wick. Played to magnificence thanks to the presence of the legendary Ian McShane, circa 1978, we meet a young but no less bold Winston, played by the charming Colin Woodell. Winston might only be starting out as a power play, but he’s got the cash and the smarts to take him far. That is until his past, and the dark secrets he thought he’d left behind draw him back into the world of The Continental. And he’s in for one hell of a fight. Woodell is a perfect fit for the younger Winston, and while he has looked to McShane to model his performance, he also brings a brash and cocky persona to the young would-be tycoon, and he gets a great intro in ‘Brothers in Arms’.
Ben Robson stands in direct contrast to Woodell’s Winston as his brother Franklin ‘Frankie’ Scott. A former street hood turned Vietnam war veteran and now working as a personal hitman and collector for Cormac, Frankie is a man who just invites trouble wherever he goes. Robson is an imposing presence as the wiley Frankie, and he’s an almost proto-John Wick. With an aggressive and in-your-face persona, there’s significant divergence between him and his brother Winston, and this keeps the action of ‘Brothers in Arms’ exciting. Robson brings a lot to his role of Frankie, and with his massive frame and magnetic presence, he’s a real scene-stealer.
The world of The Continental brings a lot of intrigue, and it naturally draws people in, and that’s precisely what happens with Mishel Prada’s KD. Best described as a door-kicking police officer, Prada’s KD is a gung-ho woman with a real Jaclyn Smith style to her, and she can’t help but be fascinated by the mysteries that lie at the heart of The Continental. Prada embraces the series’ 1970s flair and uses her aggressive personality and raw sexuality to her advantage to get what she wants, and she’s got quite a presence within the series.
Finally bringing everything together in The Continental is Hollywood legend Mel Gibson, who takes on the role of the bullish and brutal Cormac O’Conner, owner and operator of The Continental and a senior member of The High Table. And he’s got a bone to pick with the Scott brothers. Gibson brings an incredibly snarky sensibility to Cormac. Cormac’s the man in charge, and he doesn’t like anyone messing up his business, and Gibson brings the menace with this role. It’s clear that the veteran actor is having an absolute blast with this character and the world in which he lords over, and it’s a lot of fun watching him strut about the glorious structure of The Continental.
Action, blood and plenty of boom. That’s what awaits audiences in The Continental, and there’s plenty of empty shell casings in ‘Brothers in Arms – Nigh 1’. Albert Hughes has been taken to the school of Eighty-Seven Eleven with this project, and the action set pieces are a wicked bit of fun for audiences. There’s a whole heap of gunplay here, and John Wick fans get their fix with this picture. The film’s 1970s setting also plays deeply to the film’s action moments, and some serious style and swagger going on in this series. Hughes makes good on his ‘Disco Noir’ style, and audiences will get one hell of a kick out of this series.
The Continental, ‘Brothers in Arms – Night 1’ gets off to a hell of a start and promises audiences a series that makes good on the promise and the world of John Wick. It’s a serious bit of fun, and when the bullets and the blood is spent, you’ll be eager for more. I can suggest you keep watching.
The Continental streams on Prime Video.
Image: Prime Video