Relationship review: pulpy, melodic spy thriller

Vincent Cassel and Eva Green face each other in Liaison.

“Eva Green and Vincent Cassel bring their big charisma to Liasion, Apple TV+’s flawed but fun new espionage thriller.”


  • Vincent Cassel and Eva Green’s on-screen chemistry

  • Some standout action sequences

  • A perfect park final scene


  • Some underused supporting characters of one note

  • Plot too wide

  • A slow and confusing couple of early episodes

Liaison It’s the kind of unusual show that’s hard to get wrong.

The new Apple TV+ limited series is an out-of-this-world adventure about a pair of ex-lovers who find themselves on the other side of a global espionage crisis. The series, in other words, is never in danger of lacking drama, tension or stakes. Its ingredients are clearly familiar, and there have been many films and TV shows over the years that have told similar stories in a much more inventive and beautiful way.

But Liaison It also proves that there are some ingredients, when combined, that always have a knock for the production of something that is, at least, extremely watchable. The series also understands that no romantic spy adventure is complete without two stars who are not only energetic and strong, but whose chemistry seems to be worth the danger of their connection. Fortunately, the stars at the center of the new series are Vincent Cassel and Eva Green, two performers well suited to explore the alluring mix of danger and romance. Liaison His offer is.

Vincent Cassel sits in a car in Liaison.
Apple TV+

Of course, no spy story is complete without a potentially disastrous security leak. Written by Virginie Brac, LiaisonThe first episode effectively establishes the dangerous hack into Britain’s cybersecurity network that will go on to cause numerous problems throughout the series, as well as the possible solution to the UK’s latest batch of problems in the form of two Syrian refugees, Walid (Marco Horanieh ) and Samir (Aziz Dyab). In one of LiaisonIn the opening scenes, Samir and Walid narrowly escape an attack by Syrian and Russian forces and are forced to flee.

During the LiaisonIn the first two episodes, Walid and Samir make their way from Syria all the way to Britain and France. During their trip, the two try several times to set up meetings with powerful intelligence officials within the French and British governments in the hope that they will be able to exchange some vital information for new lives in Europe. The duo’s escape coincides with a series of dangerous cyber attacks in England, and it quickly becomes clear that Walid and Samir’s secret intelligence will reveal not only who is responsible for the attacks, but also what the unknown terrorists’ full plans are for the Britain and the EU. in general.

It is likely that both the French and British governments are interested in Walid and Samir and tasked some of their agents with tracking down the two Syrian refugees. Enter Gabriel Delage (Cassel), a former military intelligence agent turned independent contractor, and Alison Rowdy (Green), a British government official who shares a complicated history with Gabriel Cassel. The two agents quickly come face to face for the first time in nearly 20 years and are forced to work with and against each other to try and complete their respective missions.

Eva Green sits at a restaurant table in Liaison.
Apple TV+

In typical spy fashion, LiaisonThe plot is dense, layered, and full of untouchable behind-the-scenes commitments and negotiations that it is sometimes difficult to keep track of the motivations of certain characters. Therefore, the first two installments of the show are forced to do a lot of heavy lifting. There are so many vague dialogues, introductions and twists in the episodes that they feel much longer and slower than many Liaisonand a later installment.

The series’ opening episode also makes the mistake of keeping Alison Green and Cassel’s Gabriel largely separate from each other, robbing them of the kind of romantic tension and plot progression viewers are likely to see. That trend comes to an end i Liaisonand the third episode, which brings many of the series’ characters together in Brussels and allows them to finally start exchanging information and take a more active role in the show’s ongoing global conspiracy. While a subplot involving an obscure betrayal in the past that drove Gabriel and Alison apart doesn’t feel like much more than melodramatic filler, Liaison becomes instantly more appealing when Green and Cassel start sharing the screen together regularly.

As Gabriel, Cassel exudes a quiet confidence that makes the character seem even more terrifying and difficult to read. In contrast, Green gives Alison a much greater level of emotional vulnerability. The star makes the most of her signature, and she’s under scrutiny here, using it effectively in the rare moments when Alison is consumed by her own will for redemption or, more powerfully, her anger at the stakes different that turned to her. life upside down.

Irène Jacob and Stanislas Merhar take on each other in Inter-Relationships.
Apple TV+

Along with Cassel and Green, Peter Mullan brings his usual grit and caustic humor to his performance as Richard Banks, Alison’s manager and mentor. Stanislas Merhar also gives a great villainous turn as Didier Taraud, a powerful French official who has his own greedy motives in trying to keep Walid and Samir from the British government. Meanwhile, Irène Jacob is reliably confident and commanding, but criminally underused as Taraud’s direct foil within the French government.

Ultimately it is a sign of Jacob’s limited presence Liaison‘s huge plot, which the series often struggles to streamline over the course of six episodes. Even when Stephen Hopkins’ direction almost feels the most visionary and engaging, Liaison often fails to maintain its speed for long periods of time. There are some notable exceptions to that rule, including a tense home invasion that opens one episode, as well as an attempted kidnapping in a refugee camp. The sequences involved supercharge two of them Liaisonand only help them stand out further from the rest of the show’s less driven installments.

even though Liaison has trouble managing its distressing plot, the series will never forget being boring or tedious. Some of its plots are easier to see than others, but the show’s use of drone technology and cyber espionage helps give it a fresh, modern edge, as does its decision to tackle Britain’s complicated relationship with the EU in a post-Brexit world. More than anything, though, Green and Cassel are the reason to tune in Liaison. Even in its uneven ending, the series rarely loses its central relationship, guiding it towards an ending that finds emotional catharsis even within the contrasting shades of chaos and intimacy at the heart of each. Liaisonthe best moments.

New episode of Liaison premieres every Friday on Apple TV+. Digital Trends was given early access to all six episodes of the series.

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