It was about time they expanded the world of John Wick through television. Derek Kolstad and Chad Stahelski were brainstorming possibilities for a prequel story while developing the plot for John Wick Chapter 3 – Parabellum, and they ultimately decided that a television series would be the perfect structure for this. Later in 2017, it was revealed that the show was in full development and that it will center on the Continental, the hotel that serves as a safe he for assassins in the John Wick universe.
The Continental: From the World of John Wick follows a young Winston Scott (Colin Woodell) in the 1970’s as we watch how he became the sole proprietor of the New York branch of The Continental.
The Continental opens with a superbly choreographed action scene with Frankie, Winston’s brother who seems to resemble Keanu Reeves and fights like him, making care to remind you that it is located in the John Wick universe. The John Wick series’ Charon (Ayomide Adegun) also makes an appearance in all three episodes of this show. However, he is not paired with Winston Scott as is customary. Instead, he is with Cormac (Mel Gibson), the Continental’s current owner.
If anyone was to play a character who clearly has anger issues and lets his power gets to his head, Mel Gibson was the right person to hire. Mel Gibson sells the role so well that at times, I genuinely felt real hate for this character like he was someone in my life, while the character is smart, he can let his anger get the better of him and that starts to become one of the characters flaw when his only trait is to just be angry. He’s one of the few characters where I wish we got more from them in terms of just his personality.
Another character that I wish we got more in terms of their role in the show and screen time was The Adjudicator. We’ve seen The Adjudicator before in John Wick and as we know, their role is to make sure there is order within the Continentals. When the issue arrives in this series, The Adjudicator steps in and Katie McGrath manages to make her seem more of a threat than Cormac and that alone makes her frightening. Her introduction scene sets up the type of character she will be and even though you know what to expect from her, I only expected more due to her presence in the trailer and wish they somehow made her more involved.
There are just three episodes, but they are always at least an hour long and occasionally even longer. Even though the episodes can be lengthy, the pace is so good that you never stop to wonder how much farther there is to go. Additionally, it works flawlessly with the first episode establishing the plot and having a lot of action, the second episode toning down the action while still moving the plot along wonderfully, and the third episode cranking up the action once again as we approach the climax.
A lot of new characters appear in this show played by wonderful talent who all play their roles so well but my favorites were the two villains, Hansel and Gretel. They don’t speak a single world in the show yet show so much character in the way they fight, move and use their facial expressions.
The Continental: From the World of John Wick returns us to the familiar and beloved world while remaining true to the franchise’s distinctive qualities, including its inventive camera angles, shots, and transitions, as well as its action set pieces that set it apart from other action media. This is for you if you missed the action and storytelling of the John Wick world, and I can only hope that this will be the first of many spin-offs.
The Continental: From the World of John Wick begins streaming September 22, on Peacock and Amazon Prime Video internationally.