‘Close’ Review — Noomi Rapace Elevates the Netflix Action Flick

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Close Review

The male dominated action genre has attempted to make strides in bringing more women in roles of hardened ass-kickers, though the results have been mixed at best. A big reason for this is that these films are still being helmed by male directors and often their assumptions as to what would drive a woman towards a life of badassery is usually rooted in the maternal sense. Director Vicky Jewson is able to eschew most of these tropes with her new Netflix action flick Close starring Noomi Rapace as grizzled bodyguard. The story, co-written by Jewson and Rupert Whitaker, doesn’t hold many surprises but Close works because Rapace grounds the film and proves herself to be more than worthy to carry her own action franchise in the future.

Sam Carlson (Rapace) is a bodyguard and counter-terrorism expert tasked with protecting Zoe Tanner (Sophie Nélisse), a bratty heiress poised to inherit a lucrative mining company. Until that time, her stepmother Rima (Indira Varma) is overseeing day-to-day operations, including a tense negotiation with rival companies. Neither Sam nor Zoe cares for one another at first, establishing a kind of contentious relationship that will drive the two when things get tough. They do get tough, of course, when a coordinated attack on the safehouse goes down. However, the dutiful bodyguard is able to protect her client amidst a dangerous kidnapping attempt.

On the run, Sam and Zoe are forced to put their differences aside and work together in order to survive and untangle the web of deceit that has placed a target on Zoe’s head. There aren’t many surprises as Close unfolds with the two mismatched women forming a bond under duress in a part of the world where they can’t trust anybody, but the film works because it Jewson never takes her foot off the gas. Jewson’s style of action filmmaking is lean and efficient, allowing her star to get the most bang in her action scenes.

It is Noomi Rapace who carries most of Close on her back. There are many scenes where the actress wordlessly drags on a cigarette and yet you get the sense that this is just another in a long line of battles for Sam. Rapace doesn’t need the kind of speeches from Taken to illustrate what a badass she is. All she needs is a weary look on her face before taking a deep breath and gearing up to take on the next baddie in her way. While I do think that Vicky Jewson is a strong action director, I would love to see Noomi Rapace headline an action film with a stronger script than Close provides.

Close is a step forward for the female led action flick. It avoids all the regressive tropes that have populated prior attempts such as Proud Mary or Peppermint. Vicky Jewson doesn’t try to reinvent the action genre, but instead opts to deliver a fun, entertaining film and pulls it off for the most part.

  • Overall Score


A solid if uninventive action flick, director Vicky Jewson’s Close features some strong action scenes and a badass lead performance by Noomi Rapace.

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  1. bob February 6, 2019 Reply

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