New Netflix Epic’s Prospects Nixed

Early trade paper reviews of Marco Polo have nixed Netflix’s hopes of it being another Game of Thrones.

The Hollywood Reporter dismisses the 10-part dramatisation of the 13th century explorer’s adventures as “a middling mess, complete with random accents, slow story and kung fu”.

It calls the reportedly $US90 million production “epic only in scope” and predicts this “hodge-podge of locations, accents and obvious storytelling will probably sell well internationally but do little to make this the Next Big Thing for Netflix.”

Variety was similarly unimpressed.

“Instead of a slavish devotion to the adventures of Marco Polo (newcomer Lorenzo Richelmy) — the young Italian who spent time in the court of Mongol leader Kublai Khan (Benedict Wong) in the 13th century, and gave rise to a game played by children in swimming pools — series creator John Fusco (The Forbidden Kingdom) has used the exotic backdrop as an invitation to dabble in B-movie cliches.

“So while Marco Polo possesses scope, scale and an inordinate amount of exposed skin, the series exhibits only a sporadic pulse.

“That leaves a property that can be fun taken strictly on its own terms, but deficient in the binge-worthy qualities upon which Netflix’s distribution system has relied.”

At least The San Francisco Chronicle acknowledged it was “action-packed, compelling and filled with intrigue and sex … eventually.

“And by ‘eventually,’ I mean only after you slog through four slowly paced hour-long episodes filmed in semidarkness, with a script filled with declamatory dialogue that does little to either humanise the story or help untangle the deceptively labyrinthine script.”

Marco Polo can be streamed on Netflix’s US site from Saturday and presumably will have its first local legitimate screening on Netflicks NZ/Australian service when it goes live in March.

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One Response to “New Netflix Epic’s Prospects Nixed”

  1. The GoT boat has long sailed. That sort of hype and hysteria only happens once.

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