25th Jan2019

‘Close’ Review (Netflix Original)

by Jak-Luke Sharp

Stars: Noomi Rapace, Sophie Nélisse, Olivia Jewson, Abdellatif Chaouqi, Huw Parmenter, Cherise Silvestri, Indira Varma, Sargon Yelda, Robin Kermode, Charley Palmer Rothwell, Eoin Macken, Akin Gazi, Jonathan Jude | Written by Vicky Jewson, Rupert Whitaker| Directed by Vicky Jewson


Close, directed by Vicky Jewson, is one of latest slug action thrillers from Netflix. Jewson’s film stars Noomi Rapace as counter-terrorism expert Sam who, after a brutal job, decides to scale back and begin working as a bodyguard for young naive heiress Zoe played by Sophie Nélisse. Things go sideways after an attempted kidnapping and the two go on the run in a foreign country with no allies, trying to survive.

Close is about as generic and predictable as any direct-to-video that you’ll come across in your local supermarket bargain bin. Echoing that of extravagant low-budget and low-brow ’90s action films, the narrative on offer is still somehow saturated to an astonishingly bland and unimaginative extent. Not even ironically explosive or outrageous is the plot to at least inject a layer of outlandish fun.

The film does offer a significant stab at advantageous bloodshed in the film’s prologue, of which utilises a rather spectacular cover of Kate Bush’s Running Up That Hill by Candy Says & Marc Canham, as well as a semi-climatic tense climax. Aside from the rather confident and compelling bookends, Close, unfortunately, fails to convict on any of the promises of entertainment nor intrigue. Made even more damning with how muddled and convoluted the plot is. A multitude of characters and business deal sup-plots do little to add either suspicion or atmosphere to the table.

Rapace does well to impress with such little depth or layers available. Besides from a significant quickly brushed aside sub-plot surrounding her lineage, there – unfortunately – isn’t too much basis of character for her to work with sufficient depth. A terrific actress in her own right, one only has to look at her filmography with Prometheus, The Drop and The Stieg Larsson Trilogy etc. However, it is becoming increasingly more concerning with the lacklustre work and projects brought her way. A diamond in the rough, Rapace has two long-mooted projects in the work to bring international acclaim back to her corner with Amy, a biopic of the late Amy Winehouse and what may quite possibly be Michael Mann’s last cinematic feature and much-anctipated passion project Enzo Ferrari. The status of which has often been disputed on whether or not it is even in active development with James Mangold Christian Bale and Matt Damon starring Ford v. Ferrari picture releasing later this year.

The level of material available in Close doesn’t do justice to the talents an actress such as Rapace holds. Sophie Nélisse, of The Book Thief fame, impresses with her emotional range in sequences of quite disturbing material, yet is let down by the screenplay by Jewson and Rupert Whitaker that fails to project any form of resonation or engagement in screen presence.

Close is available to watch on Netflix now.


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