REVIEW: The Night Agent is Netflix's answer to 24
The Night Agent is available to watch on Netflix right now.
The landscape of The Night Agent is very different to the world that 24 was dropped into. That Kiefer Sutherland-fronted action thriller series debuted less than TWO MONTHS after 9/11, so the idea of a counter-terrorist agent stopping terrible things from happening was massively topical. Plus it had that tremendous central hook - each of the 24-episodes series was one hour from Jack Bauer's action-packed day - and, to this day, is still recognised merely by the unique ringtone used within the show.
Ten seasons across the next thirteen years, and 24 ended in a very different position than where it started, mostly because... to put it nicely... nobody really trusted the government anymore. Which is much closer to where we find ourselves with The Night Agent, which kicks off with a massive subway bombing attack and barely takes its foot off our throats across the next ten hours or so.
Having saved dozens of lives in that attack, FBI agent Peter Sutherland (Gabriel Basso) soon becomes the target of alt-right YouTube channels who believe he actually orchestrated the attack himself, following in the footsteps of his supposedly shady father. With nobody sure what to do with him, the White House Chief of Staff Diane Farr (recent Oscar-nominee Hong Chau) sets him as the point of contact for the Night Agents.
Essentially, he sits by a phone in the basement of The White House, waiting for it to ring if any agents might need immediate assistance, although he is told that the phone pretty much never rings. But then, of course, it does, as Rose Larkin (Luciane Buchanan) calls, having been given the number by her aunt and uncle, who turned out to be secret agents. Rose is the sole witness to their assassination, but has also been told that someone working within The White House is a double agent. With nobody to trust, Peter takes it upon himself to save Rose and help keep her off the grid until they know who they can safely turn to.
Great acting AND action
Following on from that initial bombing attack, the series continues to pump out some genuinely impressive set-pieces, from a high-speed highway car chase, to a massive shoot-out through and over a fancy hotel, to some John Wick-esque hand-to-hand combat sequences, the action comes thick and heavy.
Paired with that is a rare example of a likeable and charming central duo. Basso might initially appear like a cookie-cutter Sam Worthington-esque "straight white guy" action man, but he comes off as incredibly engaging and believably capable during the big action scenes. He also has some exceptional chemistry with Buchanan, who is actually given so much more to do than you might expect from similar characters in similar shows. There are many, MANY examples across the series when Rose will be the one to save the day, and you won't be able to help yourself from punching the air while shouting "YUSSSS!"
Add to that a phenomenally icy performance from Chau - hot off the back of scene-stealing roles in The Menu and The Whale - so you're literally never sure whether you can trust her or not, and the end result is a very bingeable, very entertaining action thriller series that more than fills the gap left behind by shows like 24.
All ten episodes of The Night Agent are available to watch on Netflix right now.
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