Review: ‘Close,’ Noomi Rapace's Action Thriller Should Be Kept At A Distance

Noomi Rapace returns to Netflix as a badass protagonist in the new bodyguard film Close. Close follows Sam (Noomi Rapace) who works for an agency that designates her to different protection assignments. When Eric Tanner, the CFO of a large company passes away, he shuns his wife Rima (Indira Varma) and leaves all his shares in the company to his daughter Zoe (Sophie Nélisse). Rima is Zoe’s stepmother and they already have a very tumultuous relationship that is only strained further by this perceived slight by Zoe’s father. Zoe is a wild child – she drinks, uses drugs, is very promiscuous, spoiled, and doesn’t have much regard for her own wellbeing. This promiscuity leads to her sleeping with her current body guard, which Rima immediately removes, and demands a female replacement. Sam happens to get the call and accepts the responsibility of protecting Zoe.  The assignment is to safely transfer Zoe to a summer house that is pretty much a giant mansion in the middle of the desert that she despises.

Sam knows that Zoe has a large target on her head and warns her of the kidnappings of rich children that has become more and more prevalent in recent years. Sure enough, that very night the security system gets hacked into and disarmed as a group of men that are heavily armed with tactical equipment come for Zoe. Sam manages to get her out of the house and into police custody. It is quickly apparent that whoever is after Zoe has deep connections and that these Police officers are not what they seem. Sam and Zoe escape, and upon realizing that there is no one they can trust, Sam vows to get Zoe out of the country.

Close had potential and after What Happened to Monday, I was excited to see Noomi Rapace back at kicking some ass, but unfortunately the film falls flat. Close seems to get in its own way, adding twists and turns that really did not need to be there, causing it to become too convoluted and confusing. There is a distinct moment deep in the film when many of the main characters repeatedly ask, “what is going on!?” as I was thinking the exact same thing. Close would have been much more successful as a cut and dry action film, highlighting Rapace in the same vein that John Wick or The Equalizer focuses on their leads. Instead writer/director Vicky Jewson and writer Rupert Whitake try and pack in too many side stories including a bidding war that the company is in to secure a major land deal, Rima struggling with weighing her company and her stepdaughter, and issues from Sam’s past. That being said, there is still something great about the way that Rapace manages to somehow act robotic and stoic, as if she cares about nothing, but still have the audience embrace her characters. As much as Close didn’t click for me, I cannot wait for the next Rapace action film to hit Netflix.

Rating: 2 out of 5