Citadel Review- A Beautiful and Sprawling Spy Drama

I’m a big fan of spy films and or television shows. Especially one that takes the genre in a new direction. That’s the case with Citadel. It’s produced by the Russo Brothers, Joe, and Anthony. Two of the three men who were instrumental in making the MCU what it is today. They are visionary filmmakers and have had success as producers as well. This new series they produced is a very good spin on the spy genre.

A spy organization called The Citadel was in the middle of an operation on a train in Italy when another organization, a crime syndicate called Manticore, sabotaged their mission. Mason Kane/Kyle (Richard Madden) Once the agents team up with Nadia Singh (Priyanka Chopra Jonas) they are led by Bernard Orlick (Stanley Tucci)a  tech guy and leader of The Citadel. When the train crashes these two agents are lost and end up in different places without their memories. One married in Oregon with a son and the other in a restaurant in Italy. A British Intelligence officer  Dahlia Archer (Leslie Manville) who is the tie to all of this needs an X-Case plus special codes to open the case, nuclear codes. These people have the answers she’s seeking.

Eight years by and lost memories from a chip in the throat kept in a vial with the agent’s name is the only way they can get their memories back. Mason tries to find Nadia after the vial gets broken but hitmen come looking for them. Mason stole the case from them in New York. When Mason finally finds her he convinces her to let Nadia inject herself and get her memories back. That way she can help him find out who he really is. Together they can take down Manticore.

The show is a very sprawling series. It goes all over the world and the United States. The writers and directors have created a true spy show that goes everywhere from Caracas, Spain, Oregon, Wyoming, Langley, Virginia, Miami, Florida, New York City, Vienna, Austria, Morocco, and Utah. With such a spraying show comes all the different locations that they film in. There are such vistas and various shots of canyons and cities. The cinematography is pretty beautiful. It goes along with the large scope of the show.

Timelapse elements are used to help tell this story. A flashback in the third episode to 12 years prior gives viewers an idea of the relationship between the two main characters played by Madden and Chopra Jonas and their handler. The other time jump I mentioned was after the train crash. These time jumps can be confusing in most series or films but in this show, they help determine what we as the viewers are dealing with. They come with a lot of valuable information. The plot and story elements were crafted very well by David Weil, Bryan Oh, and Josh Applebaum. 

The cast of the show is pretty good. Richard Madden has had some good roles in his career in Game of Thrones and The Bodyguard. This might be one of the best of his career. Priyanka Chopra Jonas is a huge star in India but her career over here is hit and miss. She has a mysterious beauty about her. I can’t help but be invested in her character and her role in the series. Stanley Tucci brings a fun element to his character and Leslie Manville is pretty serious in her role as a bad guy. Their series relies on such great talent to get the viewer to follow along with this far-reaching and complicated story.

Citadel is a new way of doing spy games. It has a fantastical way about it that makes people watching care about it. The characters and their journey are very fascinating and how the writers build their stories is pretty impressive. The cinematography is beautiful. The series is a sprawling one that goes all around the world. With three episodes available to review I was completely enamored by what I saw. I can’t wait to see more episodes in this series. Everything about it was fascinating to watch.

4 stars 

Dan Skip Allen 

The Citadel Streams on Amazon Prime Video April 28th

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