Blood Coast Review: Another Netflix Crime Thriller With Potential, Yet Falls Short with Missed Opportunities

Blood Coast Review: Directed by Olivier Marchal and Ivan Fegyveres, Pax Massilia stars Tewfik Jallab as Lyès Benamar, Jeanne Goursaud as Alice Vidal, Nicolas Duvauchelle as Franck Murillo, Samir Boitard as Ali Saïdi, Florence Thomassin as Commissaire Fabiani, Moussa Maaskri as Tarek Hamadi, Mila Rigaudon as Zoé, and others. This French drama series consists of 6 episodes, each with a runtime of approximately 50 minutes.

Blood Coast Plot

In the vibrant city of Marseille, a tight-knit squad of unconventional police officers employs unique methods as they race against time to apprehend a notorious criminal. Their mission isn’t just about capturing the culprit; it’s a desperate bid to save Marseille from the brink of catastrophic bloodshed.

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-The Review Contains No Spoilers-

Blood Coast Review

Netflix has produced numerous narcotic crime series, and Blood Coast appears as an addition to that list without contributing much excitement to the crime thriller genre. The show primarily delves into criminal drug dealings and the officers attempting to apprehend them. However, these officers are not portrayed as exemplary law enforcers; instead, they have a history with the criminals they pursue. This dynamic is central to the plot, but it creates a narrative where time is spent on their conflicted relationships rather than solving crimes. This approach seems to suggest that their involvement somehow reduces crime in the city, which didn’t quite make sense to me.

The narrative centres on Lyès and his team’s pursuit of a clandestine drug operation, inadvertently entangling them in a power struggle involving the notorious Ali Saïdi and the supposedly deceased Franck Murillo. The entry of Alice Vidal, portrayed by Jeanne Goursaud, adds a personal vendetta to the mix, intensifying the stakes for the characters.

Blood Coast paints a vivid and gritty picture of Marseille, offering a portrayal that might dissuade someone from considering it as a place to settle. The intricately depicted environment, the bustling yet chaotic streets, and the diverse inhabitants collectively serve as a backdrop that amplifies the challenges faced by law enforcement. Characters like Ali Saïdi, existing within this setting, become emblematic of the complexities that shape the city’s narrative.

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The show doesn’t merely scratch the surface of law enforcement’s actions; it dives deep into their psyche, humanizing their decisions and behaviours in a thought-provoking manner. This portrayal sparks an ongoing internal debate for both the characters in the narrative and the audience, prompting questions about the blurred lines between right and wrong. Moreover, the show’s storytelling remains accessible, ensuring that viewers stay connected to the storyline without feeling lost amidst the unfolding drama.

The aesthetic aspirations of Blood Coast are evident in its visual presentation, yet these aspirations falter, resulting in an unintended portrayal resembling that of a low-budget crime thriller rather than the intended impression. Despite the efforts to create an appealing visual experience, the execution doesn’t quite meet the mark.

Disappointingly, the action sequences fail to deliver the expected thrill. The pivotal opening action scene, which typically sets the tone, lacks the punch and energy necessary to captivate the audience. Moreover, subsequent action sequences also lack the memorability that defines remarkable moments within a series.

While the actors’ performances are commendable, the show falls short in terms of an engaging plot and compelling characters. It fails to offer a compelling reason for viewers to invest in the events unfolding on screen emotionally. Despite the commendable efforts of the cast, the narrative lacks the necessary depth and freshness.

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The major issue I found was the backstory, which held a wealth of intriguing events. However, these were inadequately portrayed, resulting in a disconnect. This made it challenging to discern who the real antagonists were – the criminals, the cops, or other law enforcement officers. One subplot revolved around the police law office’s pursuit of the team leader, Lyès Benamar, seemingly driven by personal dislike. This led to the unnecessary blackmailing of team members to oppose him. Unfortunately, the narrative lacked a clear explanation for this intense animosity or its significance.

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Adding to the drawbacks, the show is burdened by an excessive number of subplots, consuming a significant portion of its runtime. Rather than enhancing the narrative, these subplots tend to overshadow the main storyline, causing a disconnect and potentially leading viewers to wish for a swift resolution. Unfortunately, the show invests considerable time in these subplots, diverting attention away from more engaging elements.

Blood Coast Review: Final Thoughts

Blood Coast falls into the realm of Netflix’s narcotic crime series without carving a distinctive mark in the genre. While it attempts to explore the intricacies of law enforcement’s morally ambiguous actions and the complexities of Marseille’s criminal landscape, the series falters in execution. The emphasis on conflicted relationships among the officers overshadows crime-solving, leaving a narrative void that struggles to engage audiences.

Despite a visually evocative portrayal of Marseille’s gritty setting and commendable performances by the cast, the show’s aspirations for an intense visual experience fall short. Lacklustre action sequences and an excessive number of subplots further dilute the show’s potential, detracting from the central storyline and leaving viewers disconnected. Ultimately, while the series delves into thought-provoking themes, it lacks the depth and cohesion needed to create a truly gripping crime thriller experience.

The series is now streaming on Netflix.

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