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Noah Centineo’s journey from a romatic king to spy thriller “The Recruit

The transition of Noah Centineo from the king of romantic comedies to the protagonist of the Netflix spy thriller “The Recruit” is a tad rocky.

Centineo, who appeared in “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before,” is miscast in this series, which is not only confused about its protagonist but also about its genre.

Owen Hendricks (Centineo), a 24-year-old CIA rookie lawyer on his second day on the job, has his world flipped upside down in “The Recruit” (now streaming).

Max Meladze (Laura Haddock), a former agency asset imprisoned in Arizona and threatening to divulge agency secrets until she’s exonerated, swiftly entangles him in intrigue. (Owen, fortunately, discovers her letter when he is charged with sifting through the mail, as this is the tedious busywork assigned to new recruits).

See Noah Centineo as a Newbie CIA Lawyer in The Recruit Trailer

Owen becomes embroiled in automobile chases, gunfights, and finally torture as he attempts to cope with this scenario.

The basis of the show’s plot is a “hapless new man bumbles through the CIA.” It is difficult to determine the tone, as it sounds like a slapstick comedy and contains hilarious parts. However, it also takes itself seriously as a thriller and appears to include some half-baked comments on the CIA and bureaucracy.

The baby-faced Centineo, who portrayed a jock in “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before,” appears out of place donning a suit and going into an office while portraying a “mature” character. In actuality, he is 26, therefore it makes sense for him to play a 24-year-old.

The Recruit': Noah Centineo's Spy Thriller Is More Netflix Filler – The  Hollywood Reporter

Nonetheless, he portrays Owen with the same Golden Retriever vigor with which he portrayed a high school athlete. It is odd that he has not altered his approach to accommodate an older character or a genre transition. Even with several Gen-Z indicators, such as a big Instagram presence and hilarious roommates, it is difficult to see him as an adult.

Owen flits from Yemen to Phoenix, causing the storyline to become complicated, yet the story proceeds at a quick pace. There is a lack of consistency regarding why certain events are occurring, with the car chases and guns appearing to be inserted since they are typical of spy thrillers. The film “The Recruit” places little importance on logic.

Also puzzling is the lack of instruction Owen receives. He almost dies because he is unaware of the agency’s rules on international travel, and his coworkers communicate in code: “Any more contact on that squeaky wheel?”

Noah Centineo woefully miscast in Netflix spy thriller 'The Recruit'

Owen’s manager reprimands him for being too forthright when he describes his latest work, despite the fact that he was never instructed on how to discuss his projects. Someone with little training being placed in risky, high-stakes circumstances does not seem remotely plausible.

That could work if the program was a really ludicrous comedy about an unprepared individual assigned risky assignments, like “MacGruber.” It attempts to have it both ways, as an espionage thriller and a goofy comedy, but neither approach is quite successful.

The film “The Recruit” has some amusing moments, but it fails as a whole. Centineo is ready to move on from high school parts without putting in the necessary effort.

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