Close (2019) - Title Card

Close may continue to prove Noomi Rapace is a badass, but its lackluster characters may not keep your attention.

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Close may continue to prove Noomi Rapace is a badass, but its lackluster characters may not keep your attention.

Director(s) Vicky Jewson
Written By Vicky Jewson, Rupert Whitaker
Date Released 1/18/2019
Genre(s) Action
Good If You Like Action Movies Set in Foreign Countries

Movies In Which The Protagonist More So Has Skill & Luck Than God Like Pain Tolerance

Isn’t For You If You Need More Than A Decent Amount of Action But Want Quality Character Development
Noted Cast
Sam Noomi Rapace
Zoe Sophie Nélisse
Rima Indira Varma

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Close Plot Summary (Ending on 2nd Page)

Sam is a soldier turned bodyguard who, despite her experience, isn’t at a Rambo level. She is well trained, has a knack for getting herself and those she protects out of dangerous situations, but she doesn’t end each missing unharmed. But, her past missions protecting journalist didn’t prepare her for taking care of someone like Zoe – a 19-year-old heiress caught between her father’s former business and a competitor. But, what complicates matters is the recently parentless Zoe is unsure whether her stepmom is part of the reason people are coming after her or not. Especially considering they are in her step-mother’s home country of Morocco and clearly she has some shady business.


Noomi Rapace Is a Bad Ass

Sam (Noomi Rapace) standing in a shot up room.
Sam (Noomi Rapace)

While well aware how much of a badass Rapace is, through the original Girl with the Dragon Tattooir?source=bk&t=amaall0c 20&bm id=default&l=ktl&linkId=e671da49f929b0f27dc14da82e6774e2& cb=1547840342923 trilogy, Close acts as a good reminder. For though Charlize Theron, and up comer Ruby Rose may get a lot of attention, Rapace gives them a run for their money. Now, let me note, the fight scenes in Close don’t hold a candle to what we saw in Atomic Blonde, but what we see from Rapace in Close, similar to Atomic Blonde is someone who isn’t the perfect soldier which adds to how badass Rapace’s character Sam is.

Sam Is Made To Be Human

When it comes to badass soldiers, there is almost always a child involved to humanize them. Close is no different but what really helps to sell this isn’t being used for cheap sympathy is Rapace adds a layer to it. Unlike most heroes, Sam gets the shakes sometimes, gets genuinely nervous, and when things go to hell, she doesn’t always have the answers. Sometimes she turns to Zoe, a spoiled rich kid, and asks her what to do.

What I liked about that is, in a world which tries to make action heroes all in the likeness of Rambo and able to take tons of punches, dodge every bullet, or not limp after being shot, Sam is allowed to remain human. Yes, there are moments when she gets lucky and could have ended up killed or, even worse, raped. However, between her skills as a soldier and a tad bit of luck, Sam makes it out of most situations. Thus leaving you to wonder if, as she and Zoe try to escape Morocco, will she end up killed or see the whole saga come to a tidy conclusion?

On The Fence

Zoe, Rima, & The Question of Whether Rima Is Setting Up Zoe

Zoe (Sophie Nélisse) having a fit as she talks to Rima.
Zoe (Sophie Nélisse): You never wanted me!

While Rapace is able to boost Sam a bit, the rest of the actors don’t add much to their characters. While we’ve seen better from Nélisse, such as The Book Thief, we don’t get the same type of character which would lead you to really take note of her as an actress. What we get with her is a more tell than show kind of performance. We’re told about Zoe being a party girl who likes to drink and have sex with her bodyguards. We’re told that Zoe has abandonment issues, among other things. But as for really feeling for the girl considering what she went through and goes through during the movie? Not so much.

As for Rima, she, alongside most ethnic people in this movie, just seem underdeveloped. Hell, I’d even argue that there is a vibe of guilt by association with this movie. For with the villains being brown people, it is only natural to assume Rima, with her being a bit secretive and sketchy, she is a villain too. After all, what do we know about her besides she being unable to have kids and she had a husband who would foolishly leave his shares to a partying 19-year-old vs. his wife who seemingly was running the company? Thus pushing the idea she would be willing to set up said step-daughter to make sure she gets all the shares and control over the company.

Overall: Mixed (Divisive) | Available on Netflix

While there is no doubt Rapace is a badass and she brings to Sam far more than what may have been on the page, he co-stars don’t enhance their characters in the same fashion. Thus, Zoe becomes some poor little rich kid and Rima someone used to create an air of mystery and distrust. Something nearly every brown skinned person is given for with them being a name, some form of corrupt, and not much more, you are pushed to stereotype across the board.

Hence the mixed label. While there is a decent amount of action, the story overall isn’t engaging. At best, Rapace gives just enough for you to watch till the end but as for paying attention, not straying away? Close doesn’t give you that.

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