REVIEW: Prime Video’s ‘Citadel’

Prime Video’s ‘Citadel’ might not be anything groundbreaking, but it’s an enjoyable spy thriller led by Madden and Chopra Jonas.

*Editor’s Note: This review is for the first three episodes of Citadel only.*

Citadel is a project that has long been in development. First announced in January 2020, Citadel is a global spy thriller starring Richard Madden and Priyanka Chopra Jonas. The series, which has seen some hurdles during production thanks to COVID-19, is said to be one of Amazon’s biggest ventures on the small screen to date and judging from the sheer scope of the first three episodes, it’s easy to understand why. The series, which hails from executive producers Joe & Anthony Russo, centers on a spy organization known as Citadel and two of its agents, Mason (Madden) and Nadia (Chopra Jonas) as they go on the run from a rival organization determined to bring them down once and for all.

Citadel doesn’t really bring anything new to the spy game, and that’s not a bad thing in this instance — the episodes (which clock in around 40 minutes) move swiftly and are packed with both plenty of action and plot. Even with nothing groundbreaking, Citadel still manages to prove itself a capable spy thriller that is sure to showcase Madden and Chopra Jonas as two stars that have, perhaps, been underutilized by Hollywood — especially Chopra Jonas.

The action is fantastic. In fact, those looking for action sequences like Captain America: The Winder Soldier will love the action set pieces throughout the series. They’re clean, brutal and exciting. Unfortunately, though, despite the stellar action sequences, the sometimes-terrible CGI can be distracting. This is a big issue in the second and third episodes, which is frustrating. After all, the show is said to be one of the most expensive series of all time. Thankfully, the CGI issues can be somewhat overlooked thanks in part to the great cast. Not only are Madden and Chopra Jonas great in their leading roles, but Stanley Tucci‘s Bernard is an excellent addition.

Overall, the first three episodes of Citadel are… good. The series knows what it is – a spy thriller meant to excite – and it exceeds at what it sets out to be. It’s a nice bit of escapism, an hour of thrills that audiences will enjoy. And with plenty of twists and turns in the first three episodes alone, one has to think the rest of the season will take viewers on one heck of a ride. If you like spy thrillers, give it a shot. There are moments when the series is its own victim of trying to do too much, but when it reels itself back in, it’s just pure fun and sometimes mindless entertainment is needed.

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