When it comes to John Wick, there’s always been something intriguing about the man behind the assassin. However, what has always been fascinating is the world that he inhabits. “The Continental,” a series set in the same universe, provides a captivating glimpse into John Wick’s world, revealing both its secrets and the characters who inhabit it. The three-part event will explore the origin behind the iconic hotel-for-assassins centerpiece of the John Wick universe through the eyes and actions of a young Winston Scott, as he’s dragged into the Hell-scape of 1970’s New York City to face a past he thought he’d left behind. Winston charts a deadly course through the hotel’s mysterious underworld in a harrowing attempt to seize the hotel where he will eventually take his future throne.
THE CONTINENTAL Trailer:
One of the more unexpected welcomes from The Continental is the cast ensemble. There were so many new characters that were easy to love. Frankie, Winston’s brother played by Ben Robson, was a great addition. The exploration of Frankie’s complex relationship with his brother Winston added depth to the storyline. It left me yearning for more of Frankie’s captivating backstory. I kind of wished we got a bit more from Frankie because his internal conflict and his past seemed to be full of interesting stories.
Mel Gibson’s portrayal of Cormac, the unhinged antagonist, is a highlight. Initially, Gibson takes a few episodes to fully embrace his character, but by the midway point, he delivers a compelling performance reminiscent of the Kingpin from Netflix’s Daredevil series. His presence adds a layer of intensity to the series.
Some of the main things I wanted to see from The Continental were the secrets and lore of this world. The series introduced something that might be gimmicky, but at the same time, it totally makes sense as to why/how people in the John Wick world are able to function in the manner that they do. Viewers also get a look at even more wild secrets that lie inside of the building itself.
If you love action, then The Continental does not disappoint in that department. The series maintains the high-octane, choreographed action sequences that John Wick fans have come to expect. The showrunners clearly allowed the actors and stunt doubles to shine. The intense combat scenes were satisfying and none of the violence or for was held in check. Best of all, Night #3 of the series, delivers some of the most enjoyable and adrenaline-pumping action sequences.
One disappointment I had with The Continental was that there didn’t seem to be strong enough connections to the present-day characters in the movies. While Winston and Charon bridge the gap effectively, other characters could have benefited from cut scenes or flashbacks to establish stronger connections. For viewers like me, who haven’t committed every film character to memory, these reminders would have been appreciated.
There was one more issue with the series, although it is a minor one. In the final episode, there is a small reveal that happens during the climax of the episode. The issue was more so in the directing or editing because the reveal was already foreshadowed earlier in the episode. So when a certain confrontation happens with a group of people, you already know what’s going to happen. All this means is that there was a missed opportunity to give viewers an additional surprise had some of the scenes been shuffled around a bit differently.
The Continental is an exciting, action-packed treat for fans of the John Wick films. It successfully expanded the universe, introduced captivating new characters, and delivered the adrenaline-pumping action that defined the franchise. I was a bit nervous going into this series because it didn’t have any well-known actors I was familiar with. It also didn’t have the actual star of John Wick. Nevertheless, The Continental still delivered an entertaining journey into the mysterious world of the Wick-Verse. I am much more of a fan of Winston than I ever was before, and I’d certainly be interested in seeing more if this developed future seasons. I would say that this long episodic format is much more enjoyable compared to 30 min or fewer episodes. Having this drop on a weekly basis, and giving me enough story and action to hold me over until the next episode was a great choice. I think fans of the Wick films will have a good time watching this series.
Director: Albert Hughes, Charlotte Branstrom
Writer(s): Greg Coolidge, Kirk Ward, Shawn Simmons, Ken Kristensen
Stars: Colin Woodell, Mel Gibson, Ben Robson, Ray McKinnon, Mishel Prada, Hubert Point-Du Jour, Peter Greene, Jeremy Bobb
THE CONTINENTAL: FROM THE WORLD OF JOHN WICK begins streaming September 22, 2023 on Peacock. Be sure to follow E-Man’s Movie Reviews on Facebook, Subscribe on YouTube, or follow me on Twitter/IG @EmansReviews for even more movie news and reviews!
The Continental Review: An Action-Packed Ride Into the Wick-Verse
- Acting - 8/108/10
- Cinematography/Visual Effects - 7/107/10
- Plot/Screenplay - 7/107/10
- Setting/Theme - 8/108/10
- Watchability - 8/108/10
- Rewatchability - 7/107/10