By Chris Nashawaty
January 17, 2019 at 03:00 PM EST
Everett Collection

Having now sat through the bodyguard thriller Close, I still can’t tell you what its generic one-word title means in relation to the story. That same mystifying blandness carries over to both the performances and the plot of this unremarkable Netflix original soon to get lost amongst the streaming service’s sea of content.

Directed by Vicky Jewson (2014’s Born of War), the film is notable for having three female leads, including Prometheus’ Noomi Rapace as a counterterrorism-savvy protector for hire, but it never manages to do much with that other than prove that women can be just as hobbled as their male peers when it comes to working without a decent script.

After saving a pair of journalists from a jihadi ambush in the Middle East, Rapace’s Sam is assigned to protect Zoe — a poor little rich girl (flatly played by Sophie Nélisse) at odds with her scheming stepmother (Indira Varma) after her mining tycoon father dies. Zoe, having inherited his Morocco-based firm, becomes a juicy kidnap target. Enter a squad of goons straight out of central casting’s Arab bogeyman division.

The twists in Close aren’t very twisty and its thrills aren’t particularly thrilling. But if watching women getting smacked around by cartoon bad guys before finally getting payback is your thing, by all means, have at it. C

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