After “Avengers: Endgame,” the Russo Brothers seem to have gone into a frenzy of sending MCU superheroes on new missions to test their strengths in “alternate realities” devoid of their special powers. Chris Hemsworth [Thor] in “Extraction,” Chris Evans [Captain America] in “The Gray Man,” Tom Holland [Spider-Man] in “Cherry,” and now Richard Madden [Ikaris, an Eternal] in “Citadel.” Among these, the first three have been directed exclusively by the Russo Brothers, whereas “Citadel,” being a six-episode series, includes Newton Thomas Sigel and Brian Kirk as well. The duo has already given us a glimpse of their ability to direct a true-to-form spy thriller inside the MCU itself, i.e., “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” [perhaps one of the top 5 MCU films ever made]. “Citadel” is them taking another step in that direction. So here’s a breakdown of the new trailer for the upcoming Amazon Prime espionage thriller “Citadel.”
We have Richard Madden, back in his “Bodyguard” mold, and Priyanka Chopra-Jones, finally redeeming herself from “Quantico”, in lead roles. Richard is Mason Kane, and Priyanka is Nadia Singh, both spies. They also shared a romantic spark. But thanks to a train explosion, Nadia doesn’t remember Mason anymore, nor does she remember anything from her life before the blast occurred. However, she has seen him before in a dream. As for Mason, he only remembers her and that they both are supposed to be spies. So Mason, already being followed by his foes [as we see in the kitchen scene in the trailer], has to find out what connects him and Nadia and why he, or why they, are being targeted by strangers, considering they are strangers if not faces from the past. [This is all conjecture based on the trailer.] It is Stanley Tucci’s Bernard Orlick who reveals that they belong to a self-financed spy agency called Citadel. So it seems that Mason and Nadia will manage to find out about themselves and we can assume that the series will show their present as well as their past and future. Orlick also reveals that the agency was “double-crossed” by one of its agents eight years ago. So the explosion might have been the result of that. Mason and Nadia might have been on a mission when the explosion occurred (part of the double agent’s plan). And that double agent now belongs to a new order, Manticore, which aims to bring down the Citadel. We see missiles that are most probably nuclear-tipped. So Mason and Nadia will have to remember the past and work together again to prevent large-scale destruction and thus protect their future. It won’t be easy. Spies mean secrets, and every secret has a price. This business is not about trust; it’s about intelligence. (Jack Ryan, “Jack Ryan” S2 E02, Amazon Prime). There will be more double-crosses, more leaks of intel, more bargains, and more dead people. What led to this contest between Citadel and Manticore is also important and might just be connected to the pasts of Mason and Nadia. It remains to be seen just how Mason and Nadia figure out their pasts and protect the Citadel because, from the looks of it, they were among the agency’s best agents.
Anthony and Joe Russo have always opted for large-scale set pieces and wide landscapes (be they real or CG) in their films. The same is the case with “Citadel.” We have snow-capped mountains; we have deserts; we have skyscrapers and more. We also have true-to-form action sequences, both close-quarter and wide-range. This is again something we have seen in “Extraction” and “The Gray Man.” But there is something about OTT spy thrillers that makes us presume that things will be up close and personal and there will be a lot more to break our heads over. Let’s hope that the Russo Brothers take care of the personal stuff as much as we trust them to take care of the action stuff. Interestingly, the series will also be made in multiple versions across the world, with settings in India, the Italian Alps, Spain, and Mexico. This idea was shared with the Russo Brothers by Jennifer Salke, head of Amazon Studios, and they loved it. The Indian version will be directed by the director duo of “The Family Man” and “Farzi” fame, Raj Nidimoru and Krishna D.K. (Raj and DK), and star Varun Dhawan and Samantha Ruth Prabhu in leading roles. Coming back to “Citadel,” it will be interesting to watch the chemistry between Priyanka Chopra-Jones and Richard Madden and how it plays into the plot. It is a popular theory in films that love and spies are a dangerous combo. Let’s see how this theory turns out for Mason and Nadia.
“Citadel” will stream its first two episodes on Amazon Prime starting April 28.