Culprits, British action series has love, revenge, danger, and big money

Gemma Arterton in Culprits

Culprits is a British heist series. I was hooked on the people from the first minute to the end of the last episode. Unlike an action movie I reviewed just the other day, this series has some interesting qualities. The lead character is a gay man. There are plenty of self-powered women characters. The purpose for all the violence (lots of violence) comes from love.

Culprits centers around a huge heist. After it was finished the characters took their money and ran all over the globe. Three years later, someone started tracking them down and killing them. The series is divided into BEFORE the heist, THEN which was the actual heist, and NOW. It’s easy to keep track of the three timelines.

Nathan Stewart-Jarrett in Culprits

Joe (Nathan Stewart-Jarrett), on the heist crew he was known only as Muscle, lived in Washington state with his fiancé Jules (Kevin Vidal). Jules had two kids: Frankie (Maria Nash) and Bud (Baeyen Hoffman). They were planning the wedding. Joe wanted to open a bistro. All was good.

Then Joe noticed headlines about people who had been on the heist crew being assassinated. He moved all his stolen loot to a safer place. It was all in English pounds stored in a duffel bag big enough to hold a basketball star. He hadn’t spent any of it.

Kirby in Culprits

Joe received an encrypted warning from Officer (Kirby, AKA Kirby Howell-Baptiste), who should not have known how to contact him. She warned them they were all targets.

We follow Joe, AKA Muscle, all over the globe as he reunites with the heist crew and tries to put a stop to the killing. He learns that the killers are looking for the location of Dianne Harewood (Gemma Arterton), the Brain behind the heist. It was a different role for Gemma Arterton, who was ruthless behind a perfectly made-up glam look.

Niamh Algar in Culprits

Specialist (Niamh Algar) was found deep in the woods in Norway. She was an assassin herself.

Azar (Tara Abboud), the safecracker, was in Spain with her grandfather who taught her everything about safes.

The person chasing them all down demanding to know where Dianne Harewood was turned out to be Devil (Ned Dennehy). Joe wanted to capture him to find out who hired him to come after everyone on the crew.

In the last two episodes we meet Vincent Hawkes (Eddie Izzard), who had a small but key part in the series.

There were plenty of twists and surprises. By using three timelines, relevant information was released in bits and pieces when needed to give the plot a shake. There were many bloody murders, hidden motivations, betrayals, and greed. You’d expect that in a series like this. But there was also an overarching story about love and family that gave some of the characters, especially Joe, some depth and heart.

The sets and settings looked like there was plenty of money available for this series. It all looked very good. The series was billed as a comedy by IMDb, but it definitely was not a comedy. However, I got a wonderful chuckle out of the last scene in the last episode as the credits rolled.

Culprits was created by J Blakeson who also directed 5 episodes. Claire Oakley directed 3 episodes. Have you seen it? What did you think of it?

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