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THE CONTINENTAL-FROM THE WORLD OF JOHN WICK

"Pro-Revenge Story with Little Redemptive Value"

What You Need To Know:

THE CONTINENTAL: FROM THE WORLD OF JOHN WICK is a miniseries stream-ing on NBC’s Peacock. It viewers back to the 1970s, when Ian McShane’s Winston Scott, John Wick’s mentor, is a handsome con artist who wants nothing to do with the Continental, the New York headquarters and sanctuary of a crime syndicate called The Table. The Table serves as the collective antagonist of the original film franchise. Win-ston wages war on his own former mentor, Cormac O’Connor, to avenge his brother’s death and seize control of the Continental Hotel.

THE CONTINENTAL miniseries is symptomatic of all the worst that streaming, as a construct, has to offer, bloating a potentially excellent two-hour story into a five-hour doldrum. The numerous extraneous subplots seem to exist solely to extend the degree of immoral content. This miniseries spends more time chasing unnecessary subplots than it does developing Winston, his brother or the antagonist into gripping characters whose fates become personal to viewers. Also, the characters in THE CONTINENTAL often with self-centered hedonism, vengefulness and violence. This renders the miniseries un-worthy of watching, especially by media-wise viewers.

Content:

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Dominant Worldview and Other Worldview Content/Elements:
Strong pagan, pro-revenge, pro-violence worldview where violence is the primary means to solve the char-acters’ problems, anathematizes Christianity by making the sadistic villain a practicing Catholic, although there are some positive messages about family from the relationship between two brothers

Foul Language:
Severe foul language, including frequent “f” words, and strong and light profanities

Violence:
Extreme, lengthy sequences of gun, knife, and martial arts violence, with severe blood and gore

Sex:
Three different unmar-ried couples engage in sexual relationships, two of which are adulterous in nature, includ-ing a scene of a silhouetted nudity during sexual activity

Nudity:
Upper female nudity, a woman walks around her residence in her underwear, silhouetted male and female nu-dity during sex

Alcohol Use:
Multiple scenes of casual and/or social drinking

Smoking and/or Drug Use and Abuse:
Some characters smoke cigarettes, plus one scene each of cocaine and hallucinogen use; and,

Miscellaneous Immorality:
Various scenes of crimi-nal activity, including arson, burglary, theft, etc.

More Detail:

FROM THE WORLD OF JOHN WICK is exactly what it sounds like. The three-episode miniseries event takes the audi-ence back to the 1970s, when Ian McShane’s Winston Scott (the title character’s mentor in the JOHN WICK movies) was a devilishly handsome con artist who wanted nothing to do with the mysterious syndicate of organized crime that serves as the collective antago-nist of the original film franchise.

Portrayed as a young man by Colin Woodell, Winston is off in Europe swindling busi-nessmen and living the high life until he’s summoned to the Continental Hotel in New York City by the manager, Cormac O’Connor (Mel Gibson, in a supremely phoned-in performance that is clearly no more than an amusing side gig for the former leading man). Cormac coerces Winston into helping him track down his estranged older brother, Frankie, who has stolen an invaluable antique coin press from the Continental; a coin press that the Table, the twelve-person high council of the criminal organization, will stop at nothing to recover (fans of the John Wick universe will recall the importance of certain distinctive gold coins to the original stories).

Knowing that finding Frankie is the only way to stop the Table from killing his brother, Winston reluctantly seeks out his brother. The brothers are reunited just before the Ta-ble’s henchmen arrive. Though they successfully fight their way to a helicopter and begin to make their escape, a sniper’s bullet takes down Frankie.

Winston swears revenge for his brother’s murder. He assembles a crack team of criminals and thugs to infiltrate the Continental and kill everyone inside, wresting control of Cor-mac’s empire. The most noteworthy of these is the beloved JOHN WICK supporting character Charon, Winston’s “man on the inside” at the Continental. WILL WINSTON successfully avenge his brother?

Fans of the JOHN WICK franchise, and Winston Scott’s character in particular, may find this story summary intriguing, if not riveting, which in fact it is, at least conceptually. That’s because this plot summary is written in only three paragraphs, not the four and a half hours of screen time that the miniseries uses. THE CONTINENTAL is perfectly symptomatic of all the worst that streaming, as a construct, has to offer. The streaming model enables studios to get away with bloating a fun, compelling two-hour story into a five-hour doldrum that induces viewers to spend a majority of the runtime on their phones or otherwise occupying their unstimulated minds. Thus, this miniseries spends more time chasing unnecessary subplots than it does developing Winston, Frankie, Cor-mac, and Charon into gripping characters whose fates become personal to us. This is a weakness that the JOHN WICK movies do not share. Consequently, although THE CON-TINENTAL has all of the JOHN WICK franchise’s epic battles and stunning locations, it has none of its narrative tightness and stirring character moments (save one sequence where Winston and his brother, Frankie, repair their brotherly relationship while on the run).

To make matters worse, a number of the aforementioned extraneous subplots seem to ex-ist solely to extend the degree of immoral content in the miniseries, including one that primarily revolves around an extramarital affair between two police detectives. This adds to the comes-with-the-territory extreme violence of the action thriller genre and the pro-gram’s hefty dose of foul language, as well as moderate sexual content and brief nudity. Finally, the characters behave with self-centered hedonism, vengefulness and violence that renders THE CONINENTAL worthy of abhorrent for all viewers.

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