Agent thriller: “Citadel” – the next mega project from Amazon Prime

agent thriller
“Citadel” – the next mega project from Amazon Prime

The actor Stanley Tucci comes to a screening of the thriller series “Citadel” in the USA. photo

© Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP/dpa

In contrast to the streaming competitors Netflix, Disney+ and Paramount+, Amazon Prime is still looking for its own hit series. With “Citadel” that could finally succeed.

Quo vadis, Prime Video? Amazon’s streaming service is still looking for a hit series. “The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power” was supposed to be the flagship. But the expensive fantasy production flopped. According to a report by the industry publication “The Hollywood Reporter”, not even half of the viewers watched the first season to the end.

Now Amazon’s hopes rest on the next mega project. According to insiders, the spy series “Citadel” is said to have cost the equivalent of around 270 million euros – and the makers still have a lot planned. First there are six episodes of the agent series. Start is this Friday (April 28th).

Top notch cast

“Game Of Thrones” star Richard Madden and Bollywood icon Priyanka Chopra star in “Citadel.” With the jack of all trades Stanley Tucci and the versatile Lesley Manville, the supporting roles are also top-class. Madden and Chopra play agents Mason Kane and Nadia Sinh, who work for the global intelligence agency Citadel. With no obligations to any country or government, Citadel operates internationally to make the world a better place by preventing war, assassination, or other serious crimes.

But the organization has powerful enemies. One day they manage to almost completely wipe out Citadel. Mason and Nadia survive, but their memories are erased. After years of unsuspectingly living different lives, Mason is reactivated by his former colleague Bernard Orlick (Tucci). To protect his young family, Mason embarks on a new adventure. To do this, he must first reactivate Nadia. But the enemies of Citadel lurk everywhere. And the past holds some dark secrets.

Action over action

The very first episodes of “Citadel” get down to business. A train explodes and derails. Countless people are killed. There is action, action and more action. Brothers Anthony and Joe Russo, best known as directors of several Marvel blockbusters such as ‘Avengers: Endgame’, are executive producers on the series, which looks more cinematic than television, with flashy – perhaps a little too obtrusive – colors and intricate tracking shots.

The brutal action and intense tension of “Citadel” is broken up with amusing moments. “It’s very entertaining, dark, brutal, but also funny,” says Richard Madden in an interview with the German Press Agency in London. The 36-year-old, who was also considered a James Bond candidate, can also show his cooler side here, in contrast to his serious roles in “Game Of Thrones” and the thriller mini-series “Bodyguard”. However, he is not recommended as 007, he lacks the charisma for that. The role of the conflicted Mason Kane suits him. And the chemistry with co-star Priyanka Chopra is right.

Like Madden, Chopra, 40, had to endure rigorous fitness and combat training in order to be able to pull off the myriad of intense action scenes. “I had to stay in top form for a year and a half,” she says in a dpa interview. “If something is thrown at you, you have to have the reflexes, be able to jump and shoot immediately – and deliver.”

Stanley Tucci almost steals the show from the two main actors. As a computer specialist and secret service leader, Bernard, he is in top form in “Citadel”. He delivers an entertaining, bitter duel with Lesley Manville, who is a really nasty opponent as Dahlia Archer. Tucci admits that sometimes things get really tough. “Some torture scenes don’t even make you want to look at the screen,” he says. “But I think they found the right balance.”

Second season is already in the works

How much Amazon Prime relies on “Citadel” is shown by the fact that two spin-off series have already been commissioned in Italy and India. A coherent and expandable “Citadel” series universe is planned, similar to the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), which the Russos have played a major role in shaping.

“It’s an ongoing experiment in storytelling and filmmaking,” explains Anthony Russo in the dpa interview. “We have an idea of ​​where it’s going, but at the same time we have to be open to how it’s going. That’s how we made the films in the MCU.” You don’t just want to surprise the viewers, but also yourself with what’s happening.

The first impression of “Citadel” is promising. Unmistakably inspired by James Bond, Jason Bourne and the Mission: Impossible films, the series is exciting and entertaining. Good conditions, therefore, so that the viewers do not break off in droves, as with “The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power”, but watch the season in its entirety and remain loyal to “Citadel” beyond that. A second season is already in the works.


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