CITADEL Could Be Solid, But the First Episodes Don’t Deliver That Promise

The Russo Brothers, who had much success with their entries in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, have yet to have much success with any of their other projects. I am sad to say that their latest foray leaves much to be desired. From Amazon Studios comes a series that promises espionage action, intrigue, and action; however, after viewing the first two episodes, I needed more to hook me completely. Now, granted, I have only watched the first two installments, but with all of its action and posturings, I am still determining if the creative minds behind this series can deliver. The overall impact of what I have experienced comes across as a copycat of many spy thrillers in cinema and television that many of us have experienced through better franchises.

Richard Madden and Priyanka Chopra Jones star as Mason Kane and Nadia Sinh, two skilled agents of an elite spy task organization called Citadel. Though the two agents have a romantic and professional history, it appears that, during their latest mission, they have parted on a personal level. The two find themselves awkwardly working together, once again, to retrieve some vital information that could derail their organization. After this mission goes completely sour, their lives will never be the same.

Certain global powers hope to completely obliterate all that exists of Citadel and any known survivors affiliated with the group. Former Citadel agent Bernard Orlick (Stanley Tucci) manages to locate both Mason and Nadia and attempts to “educate” both of them about all that has happened since their failed mission. Some time afterward, both agents find themselves in very different lifestyles, not remembering who they were previously or the type of work they had done either.

The first two episodes of Citadel are fine, directed by Newton Thomas Siegel, but I was still deciding what the real series promises. Plenty of moments and beats feel way too similar to themes and content executed much better in such properties as Mission: Impossible and the Bourne franchise. That is not to say that what I saw was a complete waste of time, but I wanted so much more to sell me on this show.

Roland Møller’s challenge is portraying dual roles as twin-brother agents Anders Silje and Davik Silje. The first two shows do not utilize his talent in exciting or intriguing ways. The show does have a decent cast, with Richard Madden, Stanley Tucci, and Lesley Manville as the main standouts. Priyanka Chopra Jonas is fine, but I did not wholly buy her turn as a badass spy agent.

That is not to say that I had no fun whatsoever, but I have no interest in following further adventures in this series. If, for some reason, any of the following episodes spark much buzz, I may feel otherwise. The Russo Brothers and their team must do much better if they want me to keep watching.

The entire first season of Citadel is now available for streaming via Amazon Prime.

Leave a comment