Close (2019)

Vicky Jewson directs Noomi Rapace, Sophie Nélisse and Indira Varma in this action thriller where a female bodyguard finds herself on the run in North Africa with a teenage energy heiress.

There’s a lot holding Close back. A horrid support performance by Sophie Nélisse, as the ward we are supposed to care for. A low budget that limits the scale and means certain locations are revisited for little narrative purpose. A childishly neat wrapping up of the problems and perils put in the protagonists way. A distasteful approach to foreigners where nearly every brown skinned man met is a psychotic betrayer. But there are glimmers of a better movie. Jewson is adept at taking the limitations of her set pieces and relying on logical tension rather than overblown action. One battle see Rapace artfully navigating a much bigger man and a shoal of fish and it is bizarre, effective and artfully memorable. Our faith in Rapace as a movie star helps. Nearly every face-off Rapace has to contend with is threat filled, yet solved with guile rather than brute force. You believe in her training and her superior skillset. She is too good an actress, to unique a cinematic presence, to be relegated to these small minded, poor man cash-in thrillers just yet. It is too early in her career. Get her back in Hollywood… she is great.

4

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