STORY: A crime syndicate, Manticore, destroys an independent global spy agency that’s the ‘last line defence for the good in the world’, Citadel, and ambushes its top agents, Nadia Sinh and Mason Kane, on a set-up mission. As the two escape within an inch of their lives, their memories are erased to safeguard their secrets. Eight years later, a Citadel associate enlists their help to bring Manticore down. Will they succeed despite amnesia?
REVIEW: Russo Brothers’ high-stakes show delivers what it promises right from the word go. The slow-motion upside-down tilt angle opening sequence is set on a bullet train ripping across the Italian Alps. The series then introduces the viewers to hotshot spies Nadia Sinh (Priyanka Chopra Jonas) and Mason Kane (Richard Madden), who are undercover for an assignment. Spy thriller trappings such as liquid explosives in a perfume bottle, edge-of-the-seat fight sequences and an explosion on the train follow and set the tone for the rest of the series.
Throughout the two episodes (approximately 40 minutes each), creator David Weil and director Newton Thomas Sigel keep the thrill escalating. There’s a high-level hunt for Citadel’s X-Case that will give Manticore, controlled by the world’s wealthiest families, power over the world. Citadel associate, Bernard Orlick (Stanley Tucci), tries to get the organisation back together to thwart the crime syndicate’s evil intentions. The duo that can help is leading new lives, each one’s memory wiped out. And thus begins the battle between two powerful spy agencies, making way for high-octane action and death-defying stunts, constant plot twists, car chases, et al. that heighten the drama.
The episodes take one through the US, Italy, and Spain and make for an engaging mix of the spies retracing their past and fighting the evil forces. The massive scale and high-quality production values make things better. The show’s fast pace ensures every minute is accounted for. The relentless twists make sure the viewer stays hooked.
Priyanka Chopra Jonas means business as she exhibits her prowess as a spy. Acting chops aside, she pulls off the most demanding stunts with incredible finesse and convincingly takes down beefy bad guys. Richard Madden slips into the garb of a bad-ass agent with as much ease as the role of a loving husband and father. Stanley Tucci, as the irreverent tech genius Orlick is exceptional in his part with impeccable comic timing. While Priyanka and Richard set the screen on fire with their chemistry, the latter also has a tremendous on-screen equation with Tucci. Seasoned British actor Lesley Manville delivers a power-packed performance as the nefarious Dahlia Acher, the UK ambassador and broker for Manticore.
Overall, Citadel is no-holds-barred in terms of the story, filming, action sequences and performances. It will appeal to spy thriller fans in for a mad ride.
The Open Magazine of India by Artmotion Network (https://magazine.armotion.com/)