NETFLIX (2019)

 

Director: Vicky Jewson

 

Starring: Noomi Rapace, Sophie Nélisse, Indira Varma, Eoin Macken

Close as in proximity or close as in shut the damn door?

 

Either way, back to N-N-N-N-N-N-N-Netflix! As part of their rollout of six thousand movies in 2019, the streaming giants have given us the female-led action romp Close – directed by Vicky Jewson, a talented young director who happens to be the same as myself (nearly to the day, not quite), the movie sees Noomi Rapace’s grizzled bodyguard Sam doing whatever it takes to protect Sophie Nélisse’s Zoe – the beneficiary of her deceased fathers uber-rich company (much to the chagrin of her stepmother Rima (Varma)) – from unknown parties who want her gone.

Like similar movies, Close jumps from place to place as Sam and Zoe evade gunmen galore, corrupt businessmen and slay cops for fun (not actually for fun…) providing plenty of time for shootouts, car trouble, dirty dealings, very advanced tech and guns with unlimited ammo. What is also provides is the chance for Noomi Rapace to shoot/beat the shit out of anyone who opposes her which will always be a marvellous sight. Rapace is clearly the glue holding everything together here and her solid performance actually helps the movie in the long run. The supporting cast are fine, Nélisse gets better after a torrid start, but the MVP throughout is Noomi. The writing is OK (even with a pretty drab explanation behind the major event) and the set pieces are fine – there’s nothing here that you haven’t seen before, however, unlike dross like Peppermint, Close isn’t a complete throwaway. Rapace’s character feels more lived-in and genuine than the protagonist in that minty movie and certain other flicks of its ilk and the action felt slightly less exaggerated. It’s rawer, perhaps, but Rapace never quite feels like a one-woman wrecking machine capable of superhuman feats.

 

Opening on the Kate Bush classic Running Up That Hill (covered here by Candy Says), it's always a pleasure to hear that '80s gem...which was also released in close proximity to my birth. Maybe Close is my spirit movie?

 

Based on real-life bodyguard Jacquie Davis who, in her time, watched over the Royal Family, and J.K. Rowling amongst others, I’m not entirely sure how much of the on-screen brawls Davis got into, however, I’m sure she was pleased/vindicated to be portrayed as a badass. The movie may not be badass itself, but it falls firmly into the solid category. Whilst nothing in Close feels particularly vital or remarkable, it still manages to be better-than-average – mainly due to Rapace’s rampaging performance.

January 20th 2019

© 2016 Matt Hudson / What I Watched Tonight / Essex

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