By Dave B.
In Close (Netflix), Sam (Noomi Rapace) is a military contractor assigned to be the bodyguard of Zoe, a pampered teenage heiress who recently inherited her father’s majority shares in one of the largest mining companies in the world. Sam and Zoe travel to Morocco where Zoe’s stepmother wants to keep an eye on the wayward girl while she seeks to close a multi-billion dollar deal that would cripple a rival Chinese consortium. When an attempt to kidnap Zoe fails due to Sam’s heroics, the pair find themselves cast adrift in Morocco with no allies, forced to rely on each other to survive long enough to unravel the plot that threatens them both.
Let’s start with the good: Noomi Rapace delivers another strong performance in Close. She’s one of my favorite actresses and she doesn’t disappoint in this role as a stone-cold killer with a heart of gold. She pretty much carries the entire film. The film’s cinematography was also very impressive. There are some scenes in this movie that are shot so beautifully that I was nearly at a loss for words. Morocco is a gorgeous country and the visual contrast between crowded urban areas the surprisingly lush countryside is consistently fascinating. Close also deserves credit for not falling into many “damsel in distress” clichés, pretty much having the two main characters rely solely upon themselves to achieve a resolution. It’s still uncommon to have an action movie with two female leads and no man serving as romantic interest or savior. Kudos for that.
But Close suffers from one glaring, overwhelming flaw: as far as it’s plot is concerned, there isn’t much originality. If you’ve ever seen a kidnapping/action movie, you’ll know exactly what to expect every step of the way in this 94 minute film (except at the end, which I found nonsensical and confusing). The villains are stereotypes with zero depth and while the action sequences are decent and shot extremely well, they bring nothing new to the table as far as choreography.
It’s a shame that Close doesn’t live up to the talent that Rapace brings to bear. With some more thoughtfulness and originality, Close could have been a pretty damn good movie. Instead, it’s watchable, but mostly forgettable and for that reason, I don’t recommend it. However, fans of Rapace should definitely check it out if for no other reason than seeing her in just about any role will brighten up your day a bit.
I have no clue what I'm doing, but I'll keep doing whatever it is to the best of my ability.