‘Manhunt’ series review: Apple TV+’s tired historical thriller, fails to pull the trigger

Mar18,2024


A scene from the manhunt

A scene from the manhunt Photo Credit: Apple TV+

Set against the backdrop of one of the world's most notorious assassinations, Apple TV+'s latest limited series attempts to uncover the complexities of the 12-day manhunt for Abraham Lincoln's assassin, John Wilkes Booth. James L. Based on Swanson's book, Manhunt: The 12-day pursuit of Lincoln's killer It is a complex full of possibilities but has been reduced to dull lessons of history and drawn caricatures.

Manhunt (English)

the creator: Monica Beletsky

Mould: Tobias Menzies, Anthony Boyle, Hamish Linklater, Brandon Flynn, Lovie Simone

Episode: 7

Story: After the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln, his Secretary of War and friend, Edwin Stanton, begins a campaign to locate Lincoln's assassin, John Wilkes Booth.

from the get go, Search (creates tension withSecond) The most notorious mustachioed villain in modern history, hiding in the shadows – plotting, plotting and telling strange things small village, As Booth's gunshot breaks the silence of the theatre, the intensity prematurely intensifies, providing a fleeting moment of genuine excitement in an otherwise weak narrative.

The decision to move forward with the murder instead of leading up to it robs the story of its potential for suspense, resulting in a story that feels as wobbly as Booth's ill-fated escape. Director Carl Franklin's early episodes offer a glimmer of hope that fills the story with a lingering fear. But as the series progresses, this tension rapidly diminishes, and we are left with nothing more than a crash course in the evils of the American Confederacy.

At the center of the drama is Lincoln's Secretary of War Edwin Stanton, portrayed with conviction by Tobias Menzies. Stanton's tireless search for Booth should be the driving force of the series, yet despite desperate attempts to humanize his actions under the banner of carrying on Lincoln's compassionate legacy, the writing fails to draw the underlying white savior out of his character. Is.

Anthony Boyle as John Wilkes Booth in Apple TV+'s Manhunt

Anthony Boyle as John Wilkes Booth in Apple TV+'s Manhunt Photo Credit: Apple TV+

Anthony Boyle's Booth certainly stands out as an “icon” of intrigue among the series' missteps. While Boyle skillfully embodies Booth's arrogance, offering a nuanced portrayal of a man obsessed with his own myths, the writing inevitably turns Booth into a cliché with his fragile masculinity at odds with his Fanes the flames of delusions of grandeur.

And then there's Hamish Linklater's Lincoln. With each exaggerated gesture and stilted line delivery, Linklater's performance feels distracting and pulls you away from the story. It's a pity really, given his effort, but not surprising considering the mammoth task of following in the footsteps of one of the most important men in modern history: three-time Academy Award winner Daniel Day Lewis.

Search Inevitably stumbles under the weight of its historical glory. Historical accuracy is fine, but the series seems hell-bent on cramming every period detail down our throats. The constant barrage of period nuances and detailed explanations on political dynamics overwhelm the narrative, slowing down its pace.

The real standout from the show? Interesting original music by Bryce Dessner. Booth's ominous cello leitmotif lingers around the perimeter, as a lush string section sets the stage for her daring escape in “Sic Semper Tyranis.” Dessner's masterful score brilliantly builds anticipation and sets the tone for some of the most captivating segments in the entire series.

At the end, Search It succumbs to the weight of its lofty ambitions and gets mired in a narrative quagmire that spans seven episodes. Although the series may boast historical pedigree, its intensity is never fully realized.

Manhunt is currently streaming on Apple TV+

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