John wick spin-off 2023: The Continental, a spin-off series from the John Wick franchise, attempts to explore the dark and gritty world surrounding Mel Gibson but doesn’t quite hit the mark. While it’s an extended three-episode spin-off for fans of the John Wick series, it falls short of establishing its own unique identity.
A New Perspective on a Familiar World
Set in the 1970s, The Continental offers a different angle on the famed hotel’s inner workings, a place known for accommodating international assassins. However, it doesn’t delve into the expansive franchise universe; instead, it becomes a rather lackluster excuse for a spin-off. It doesn’t merely serve as a self-awareness exercise for calling itself “Young Insert-Iconic-Character” show like Young Sherlock, Young Indiana Jones, or even Young Sheldon; it falls flat on that front.
Colin Woodell Takes Center Stage
Colin Woodell stars in the show as Winston Scott, a character previously featured in all four John Wick films, portrayed by Ian McShane. Winston, familiar to fans of those films, initially runs the enigmatic Continental Hotel’s New York City branch—a haven for international assassins with strict “no killing on hotel grounds” rules. Still, later, he assumes a more central role in the narrative.
John wick spin-off 2023:As the series unfolds, we learn about Winston’s adventurous life before a Russian mobster’s son decides to target John Wick, setting him on a globe-trotting revenge quest. Winston’s journey begins in the Bronx alongside his older brother Frankie. They rise to prominence in the criminal underworld, and when Frankie enlists in the Vietnam War, Winston carves out a destiny for himself in England.
The Beginning of a Complex Plot
John wick spin-off 2023: The series kicks off with Frankie’s return from the war, launching into action as he stages a heist on priceless artworks, eliminates a gang of thugs, and goes into hiding at night. The hotel’s owner, Cormac, played in a notably unlikable manner by Mel Gibson, could have been a redeemable character, but the show chooses to portray him in an unsavory light. He’s the head of a clandestine organization controlling the covert operations of international assassins. He puts a hit on Frankie. Winston, reluctantly, decides to uncover his brother’s whereabouts and save him before Cormac’s forces capture him.
However, it becomes evident that the show is more interested in showcasing Winston’s character development and agency than developing a coherent plot. It’s hard to ignore that the show is overly long, with episodes clocking in at over an hour and a half. Despite its runtime, the show struggles to justify its existence in its current form.
Winston’s Pre-existing Capabilities
John wick spin-off 2023: It also doesn’t help that Winston is already a powerful figure when we first encounter him. In fact, the show takes a long time to demonstrate that he doesn’t use his wealth to save his own skin—a conventional trope that die-hard John Wick fans would recognize as out of place in the John Wick universe. In one scene, he approaches Bower, the leader of the High Table, seeking her help in fulfilling his mission and telling her he would pay any price. She ridicules his naiveté. The question arises: Why doesn’t he leverage his resources further?
John wick spin-off 2023
In the end, The Continental struggles to find its footing as a spin-off. It fails to establish its own unique narrative identity and seems more interested in delving into Winston’s character rather than delivering a compelling storyline. While it explores familiar John Wick elements, it lacks the punch and coherence that made the original films so captivating. Hopefully, as the series progresses, it will find its stride and offer viewers a more satisfying experience.