Some of the best movies are on Netflix, but they are not made by Netflix. The Siege of Jadotville is a perfect example of why they should stick with making series. House of Cards and Orange is the New Black offers audiences something unique, and like many original Netflix movies, The Siege of Jadotville does not. But their movies aren’t all bad. ARQ is very entertaining, and although it doesn’t offer anything new, it’s well made. But Siege of Jadotville is a poor addition to the original Netflix movies library.
Initially, they had the right idea because the plot is intriguing. IMDB provides the synopsis for Netflix’s original movie, Siege of Jadotville.
“A gripping true story of incredible bravery against impossible odds, The Siege of Jadotville thrillingly depicts the 1961 siege of a 150-strong Irish UN battalion under Commander Patrick Quinlan (Jamie Dornan) by 3,000 Congolese troops led by French and Belgian mercenaries working for mining companies. Guillaume Canet plays a French commander who sought to defeat Quinlan and his men.”
This movie does a poor job of actually capturing how intense this battle actually was. It rushes through the final moments of the conflict with a voice-over. And when they are not showing the battle, viewers are stuck watching a film with poor dialogue and mediocre acting. And the casting has to be questioned. The Los Angeles Times provides more insight on the casting of this Netflix film.
“Too bad, though, that once more, a story tied to the fate of African citizens is — save the few scenes featuring Tshombe — told entirely with white people. (Who argues the locals’ viewpoint? A rich Belgian played by Emmanuelle Seigner.) ‘The Siege of Jadotville’ valiantly fights to reclaim pride in a slice of Irish military history, but it seems to have ignored who those Irish were fighting for.”
This isn’t the first Netflix movie to disappoint. At first, audiences were excited to hear that Adam Sandler signed on with Netflix to do four movies — until they saw The Ridiculous 6 and The Do-Over. Although some EDM fans might have enjoyed XOXO, it was widely panned by critics and it scored low among viewers.
But Netflix has produced some high-quality movies: Beasts of No Nation, The Fundemantals of Caring, and Pee-Wee’s Big Holiday were a success among critics and fans alike. But the ratio of successful Netflix movies compared to their series is huge. Most Netflix series’ are not only a hit on their streaming site, but they have provided some of the best series on television — period. If you were to list all of the Netflix movies, most of them are considered a disappointment; not only among critics, but most importantly, among Netflix viewers.
Part of the problem is that Netflix movies are just too formulaic. It seems like when it comes to series, the company goes out of their way to produce something original and high-quality. But when it comes to Netflix movies, rarely do they offer anything new. Why bother seeing The Do-Over, when you can see Adam Sandler do the same thing, but better, 15 years ago? Why watch the Netflix sequel to Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, with its mechanical storytelling, when you can watch the original masterpiece? And why watch The Siege of Jadotville, when you can watch Saving Private Ryan?
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If you’re looking for military movies to stream on Netflix, you will be better served to watch Defiance, Black Hawk Down, or even Top Gun. The Siege of Jadotville reveals that Netflix either needs to stick with making hit series’, or they need to start making their original movies — well — more original.
[Featured Image by Netflix]