The New Wave of International Crime Dramas on Netflix
Netflix’s investment in international crime dramas continues with “Blood Coast” (originally titled “Pax Massilia”), following the success and renewal of “Criminal Code” for a second season. However, “Blood Coast” diverges significantly from the forensic detail and smart construction seen in “Criminal Code.” It’s a blend of elements reminiscent of “The Shield” and “Narcos,” but it doesn’t quite reach the heights of either.
Plot and Characters: Navigating a Complex World
“Blood Coast” presents a straightforward premise enveloped in complexity. The story orbits around Franck Murillo (played by Nicolas Duvauchelle), a formidable figure in Marseille’s criminal underworld, seeking revenge for his son’s death. On the other side of the law stands Lyès Benamar (Tewfik Jallab), a morally ambiguous cop who, despite his questionable methods, is cast as the nominal hero.
The series introduces a variety of archetypical crime show characters, including Benamar’s team, who operate in the morally gray areas of law enforcement, and Interpol agent Alice Vidal (Jeanne Goursaud), who harbors a personal vendetta against Murillo. The plot thickens with the involvement of Murillo’s right-hand man, “The Indian” (Moussa Maaskri), and the local Saidi crime family, led by Ali (Samir Boitard).
A Tangled Narrative: The Struggle for Depth
“Blood Coast” endeavors to weave a complex narrative, but it results in a somewhat convoluted delivery. The opening episode bombards the viewer with a whirlwind of action, introducing numerous characters and motivations that can be challenging to follow. The major characters, despite their deep personal stakes in the story, often feel two-dimensional, serving more as plot devices than fully realized individuals.
The series relies heavily on action and violence, sometimes at the expense of character development and narrative depth. This approach, while maintaining a degree of entertainment, fails to fully engage the audience in the story’s moral dilemmas.
The Viewing Experience: An Easy Binge-Watch
For fans of the genre, “Blood Coast” offers an easy, if not particularly memorable, binge-watching experience. The show is engaging enough for a casual viewer but may not satisfy those seeking more than just surface-level entertainment. It’s a series that fits comfortably within the confines of its genre without pushing any boundaries.
In summary, “Blood Coast” is a mixed bag. It delivers the action and intrigue expected from a crime drama but lacks the nuanced storytelling and character depth that could have elevated it. For viewers seeking an uncomplicated crime series, it checks the boxes, but for those in search of a more profound narrative experience, it might fall short.