Red Queen 2024 / A well-produced Spanish crime drama that is unfortunately too derivative of Sherlock-type mysteries


Red Queen is well-shot, well-produced, and extremely well-cast, so it’s hard to pinpoint why it feels mediocre at first. But once you get past the sheen of its budget and the warm glow cast by its two likable leads, the titular red queen Antonia (Vicky Luengo) and her sidekick Jon (Hovik Keuchkerian), it becomes apparent how hollow the foundations are. Antonia is hailed as a singular genius who, much like Sherlock and his many copycats, needs only to scan a room to know the depths of a person. She also enters a version of Sherlock’s “mind palace,” an accurate and artful reenactment of the crime. But the answers she arrives at, though correct, feel simplistic and pedestrian. They’re hardly cerebral, nor do they require special knowledge: it all just sounds like something a good detective should know. Jon is a more realistic rendering of a cop, but it is strange how he is defined only by his weight and sexuality. At least in the first few episodes, these traits are merely used as the punchline to their jokes. The trimmings are not too impressive either; the secret organization they’re part of, the serial killer’s motives, and Antonia’s traumatic past are intriguing, but all too familiar in this saturated genre.

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