After two episodes, it is clear that Citadel was created specifically to tick all the boxes of a maximum-eyeballs OTT spy show: good-looking actors topline; real actors are reserved for the rearguard; action sequences appear templated; and everything is groaningly bland and generic.
In a Russo Bros show, Priyanka Chopra Jonas gets second billing, right after Richard Madden. That’s great for a Bollywood star who is now internationally recognised in her own right, but in terms of performance, she appears to be going hard at the idea of a badass female spy, but comes off flat.
The plot is as simple as it gets for a show of this calibre. Citadel is a group of top-secret spies tasked with saving the world. Following a heinous attack, only two key operatives remain alive: Mason Kane (Richard Madden) and Nadia Sinh (Priyanka Chopra Jonas), the former having lost his memory (remember’retrograde amnesia,’ the oldest, most tired trope in Bollywood B-grade movies; you almost wait for Mason to open his eyes and say’main kahaan hoon’), and the latter, surprisingly, remembering everything.
Their greatest enemy is a group known as Manticore, whose leading supporter is the wonderful Leslie Manville, who enjoys spitting out expletives and ordering hit-jobs. A fight scene in a moving train, stealing a briefcase from a secure building, another fight scene in a dusty room, a doctor shaking their head at a patient lying in bed, and a chase scene on a highway are all examples of episodes that come one after another and are utterly unimaginative. You see what I mean.