Doug Lyman is behind hits like Jason Bourne, Mr. and Mrs. Smith, and now The Recruit on Netflix. His vision of action movies brings big plot twists, dense and complex characters, world travel, and the spirit of action movies renewed. So you couldn’t go wrong with the project that sees young lawyer Owen Hendricks (Noah Centineo) dealing with his early days as a CIA agent. Smart and dedicated, Owen gets himself into the hairiest of messes while navigating the complex and violent universe of espionage.
The proposal itself is not the most innovative: Russians, Latinos, Germans, and colleagues involved in secrets and counter-espionage, taking advantage of the fact that the recruit can die or be blamed (or both) without drama for them. In a universe where no one can be trusted, Owen is more alone than ever. What’s different here is that the stories are inspired by the accounts of journalist and former agency lawyer, Adam Ciralsky, one of the series’ executive producers. He is well represented by Noah Centineo whose undeniable charisma is the weapon that Doug Lyman has to recount once again the universe he has already explored with Jason Bourne. It works.
Noah, who until then was the romantic teenager on duty at Netflix, in series like All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, is comfortable in the “adult” role. What fails a little is the stretch of the plot. There are times it feels like Salt, then it feels like The Office and even has a romantic side to it before jumping back into action, and it doesn’t always engage us. It is the seed of a new franchise, it remains to be seen if Netflix will invest in at least one new season. It’s all yes.