The Continental: From the World of John Wick – 2023
The Continental: From the World of John Wick is a 2023 miniseries in three episodes. It centers around the hotel The Continental which is displayed in the John Wick Movies. That is to say that it takes place in the same universe as the movies, but not at the same time. I think the timeline here is during the 70s and the movies take place in the present day. Which means roughly when the movies were released. So, from around 2014 to 2023 as of now. There are still rumors about a fifth John Wick movie but let’s see how that plays out.
When the series really begins our main characters are just kids. They are already in the grip of Cormac O’Connor who is the guy who runs the hotel. There’s not much going on in those earliest years and most is really not told on camera. But we get to experience what’s happening anyway. We soon understand that this Cormac guy, played by Mel Gibson, is a really bad guy. He may seem nice on the surface but he is a monster more or less. As I said, he is in charge of the hotel. But he is also a subject to the high table. Those of you familiar with the John Wick universe know exactly what I’m talking about. If you’re not familiar with the world of John Wick, you can still enjoy The Continental as a stand-alone miniseries but I still think you’ll miss out on the full picture.
Anyway, we have these two brothers that are the subjects of Cormac from an early age. They grow up and grow apart too for that matter. There’s a rather complex story about that that I don’t care to explain here. Or, it’s not really complex but it has to do with brotherly love and rejection. Never mind. Let’s just say that they grow apart. At least until that day when Cormac had them confront each other again. On his terms of course. He doesn’t do anything that doesn’t benefit him.
The Coin Press
In this case, the older brother steals a coin press that is very valuable to the high table. And such an item needs to be re-claimed at any cost. Nobody stands above the high table, not even Cormac, and he is forced to use any means available to get it back. But, of course, the plan backfires, and instead of getting the coin press back, he drags himself into a war with the brothers. The action that follows reminds me more about a heist than anything else.
Of course, we have a revenge plot or two in there. And we also have some other characters woven into the story. All with a motif for revenge. Not necessarily for Cormac, there are inner struggles in the group as well. So, as a heist series, it works pretty well. You don’t always know the full plan but you can assume that someone has thought about everything to make the plan work.
At the same time, a heist almost always presupposes that there will be some doublecrossing at one point or another. I don’t really see that happening, at least not in the most conventional sense of the word. That you don’t always know whose side everybody is on spices the plot up a little.
But the plot alone wouldn’t make The Continental a successful miniseries. There needs to be lots of action. And I think we get a lot of action worthy of the universe of John Wick. You know how it looks. There’s a lot of headshots and a lot of body fluids splattered against the wall. A few surprises and in-your-face killings that are just…very brutal. That’s what makes it most entertaining for me. The action scenes and the raw brutality. That it’s a heist where the baddest guy inevitably bites the dust is just a bonus.
Mel Gibson is the first actor to be credited but I don’t think he plays such a big part in the series. It’s an important part of course but so are many of the others. Colin Woodell plays the most central character Winston Scott and is the most important character of all I think. And since this is a take on John Wick we also have the character of Charon. This time portrayed by Ayomide Adegun. Welcome to the prequel of the John Wick films. I think you’ll like it!
It may be a little too long for its own good though. Almost 4 and a half hours spread out over three episodes.