While Netflix has had a lot of success on the TV side, their movie arm is only just gaining real credibility, with films like Roma, Bird Box, To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, and The Ballad of Buster Scruggs. To date, Netflix movies have largely been seen as a dump site for problem children (Cloverfield Paradox, Annihilation), or scripts that no one else will make (Bright). But thanks to a strategy of throwing endless amounts of money at marquee filmmakers, in the last year—the last few months, really—Netflix has started churning out not only actual quality in movies, but also hits. Can they keep their streak alive in 2019? They have Martin Scorsese’s next film later this year. But first, they have Close, an action movie starring Noomi Rapace due on January 18. The trailer is here and it looks…very nineties. Streak temporarily on hold, maybe.
I am SUPER into Noomi Rapace as a lady bodyguard. That move right at the beginning? Very cool. But the rest of the trailer? YIKES. It looks a little like a cross between The Bodyguard and John Wick, but the trailer editing is, er, interesting at best. The song choice, especially, grates. Watching it on mute, Close looks like a bare-knuckle brawler, the kind of action movie that barely needs a plot to function (very nineties). But then I turn the sound back up and that song is screaming “transformational gal pal road trip movie” and I don’t know what to think anymore. I guess it can be both? It seems to be trying to be both. Noomi Rapace is kicking a lot of ass, but then it also kind of looks like she and her charge bond and become friends while on the run, so there is a little “transformational gal pal road trip” in here, too. I don’t know that those two genres mix so well, but I guess we’re going to find out.
This does not, however, look up to snuff with Netflix’s other recent movies. Close looks like a very middle-of-the-road, unproduced script kind of movie. The kind of thing that, once upon a time, could be made on the relative cheap and rake in $100 million, but now you’re not getting that movie made in a traditional studio unless Keanu Reeves is in it. But Netflix is still desperate to fill their library with their own titles—before they lose a LOT of popular content to rival studio streaming platforms—and they don’t care about opening weekends, or even profit, really, since their business model is “endless debt vacuum”, so they can make stuff like Close all day long. It looks borderline unwatchable, and we will probably forget all about it five minutes after we’ve seen it, but I am here for Noomi Rapace punching people in the face. That’s like a little poem.