The cast of the CW’s newest overseas import, Professionals, made us question whether or not it was truly shot abroad. Though it features Brendan Fraser and Tom Welling, the programme was originally created for a Swedish SVOD service in 2020; the CW acquired the rights to air it in the United States early this year. Could the presence of two well-known actors convince you to give the programme a try?
Kicking things off: the French South American country of French Guiana. A huge, shiny office complex emblazoned with the words “SWANN CORP.”
Professionals: The Short Version: Billionaire Peter Swann (Brendan Fraser) discusses his company’s groundbreaking new satellite, Panacea, during a pre-launch party. Panacea is designed to identify possible pandemics in the hopes of preventing their spread. Graciela Davila (Elena Anaya), the project’s lead scientist and his lover, is the focus of his speech at the party. His philandering father Reggie (Andre Jacobs) and his mostly uninterested daughter Jane round out the family (Jazzara Jaslyn).
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At the same time, a London-based “police officer” stops two Europol operatives carrying evidence against an international crime boss. It’s revealed to be former counterintelligence operative turned hired shooter Vincent Corbo (Tom Welling). Although Vincent agreed to do the task in order to avenge his younger brother’s murder, he now refuses to work with the kingpin along with his brother.
Professionals: Grace and Vincent were a couple in the past, but their relationship didn’t survive Vincent’s counterintelligence career, so Peter and Grace go to Vincent to find out what occurred when the rocket-carrying Panacea explodes soon after launch. When Vincent returns to French Guiana, he informs the corrupt police chief that he is on the lookout for the perpetrators of the rocket sabotage by sending the chief on a “snipe hunt” to locate the origin of a rifle bullet whose casing he discovered a mile or so from the launch pad.
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Peter purchases the sole hotel in town so he may watch its surveillance tapes in an effort to track down the guy who shot down the rocket, while Vincent investigates the rocket’s launch site and the people who hired the person who shot it down.
Professionals: Which Television Programs Will It Recall? The tone of Professionals is reminiscent of action series like 24 and Homeland, while the programme itself isn’t quite as exciting. In some ways, it’s likewise a remake of Soldiers of Fortune (2012).
Our Take: Despite starring Fraser and Welling, International production Professionals had its streaming service premiere in 2020 in Scandinavia. Despite what seem to be some exotic locales for filming, the programme has the feel of having a limited budget, or at least one that was depleted after paying its two stars.
Welling and Fraser are great in their roles, making the most of a muddled plot and some very lame banter. However, the showrunners Mike Colleary and Jeff Most, who have worked on action films like Lara Croft: Tomb Raider and The Specialist, give them a kitchen-sink plot that doesn’t advance much in the pilot and a supporting cast that isn’t up to the task of making their characters into anything but one-dimensional action-film tropes.
Professionals: The first episode devotes much time to establishing the characters of Vincent and Peter; Peter’s focus is on his family, while Vincent’s is on his professional history. When Europol agent Kurt Neumann (Ken Duken) comes hunting for the proof that Vincent took from him, Vincent must evade him as well. Additionally, there’s a lady named Eva (Larissa Andrade) from England who has a significant impact on Vincent’s life. Grace has come to bring the two men together to stop a pandemic she had believed the satellite might stop.
However, due to the many digressions throughout the pilot episode, none of this is very evident. In addition, with the exception of Welling and Fraser, every character has a mystery accent, which only partially masks the fact that they all seem to be repeating their lines rather than acting.
Absolutely no sexual content or skin was shown in the pilot.
Final Shot: Vincent returns to the helicopter his crew brought to pick up everyone after returning to the scene where the gunman’s vehicle flipped many times in an attempt to identify his employer. Peter yells at him, “Get on!” and they quickly leave the area.
Professionals: It’s hard to choose a star in Sleeper Star since everyone, even Welling and Fraser, seems to be operating on a separate plane.
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The most iconic pilot line is when Peter’s snarky daughter suggests he ditch the rockets in favour of a cell tower. “That’s something I’d do. That’s something I’m capable of. I promise Peter, says. That’s such a stupid and desperate statement, not even Fraser can save it.
In our opinion, you should NOT do this. It’s awesome to see Brendan Fraser and Tom Welling thwart villains in a film together. However, the sloppiness of Professionals prevents it from fully capitalising on the promise of having two popular actors interact.