fri 21/06/2024

Hit & Run, Netflix review - Lior Raz excels as a hard man on a hazardous mission | reviews, news & interviews

Hit & Run, Netflix review - Lior Raz excels as a hard man on a hazardous mission

Hit & Run, Netflix review - Lior Raz excels as a hard man on a hazardous mission

Covert war erupts between Israeli and American spy agencies

Bull in a china shop: Lior Raz as Segev Azulay

Lior Raz is Israel’s very own man with a very particular set of skills. However, unlike the looming 6ft 4in Liam Neeson who plays Bryan Mills in the Taken films, Raz is stocky, shaven-headed and clocks in at a mere 5ft 7in.

He’s not your standard off-the-peg action hero, but he packs some serious credentials. He served in an undercover counter-terrorist unit in the Israeli army, and later moved to the USA and was hired as Arnold Schwarzenegger’s bodyguard. He funnelled his experiences into the Israeli-made series Fauda, a fraught portrayal of anti-terror operations in the West Bank.Hit & Run, Netflix review Now Raz is back in Hit & Run, which (like Fauda) he co-created with Avi Issacharoff, though this time it’s a production for US Netflix. Raz plays Segev Azulay, who works as a Tel Aviv tour guide, driving visitors out to assorted remote scenic spots in his battered Land Rover. He’s seemingly blissfully happy with his marriage to willowy American ballet dancer Danielle (Kaelen Ohm), and their family is completed by Ella, Seger’s daughter from his first wife Shira (pictured above, Segev and Danielle).

What could possibly go wrong? You name it. Danielle is due to fly to New York to audition for an American ballet company, but before she can get to the airport she’s the victim of the titular hit and run incident. Segev is reeling from shock and grief, but as the dust clears it appears that Danielle’s death wasn’t an accident. To nobody’s surprise, it’s revealed that Segev’s life as a tour guide is a recent development, following a long and murky career in secret service work and as a mercenary in Mexico. He’s not going to take this lying down, and starts digging for answers.

As fragments of evidence begin to fall into place, a tangle of secrets, lies and betrayals begins to emerge. Danielle appears to have been the victim of a covert clash between the Israeli secret service and the CIA, prompted by her leaking Israeli secrets to her American handlers. Even worse for Segev is the revelation that she was having an affair with an Israeli intelligence officer in order to accomplish this.

The average bereaved and betrayed husband would have been crushed by it all, but Segev’s response is to go full-tilt on the offensive to get to the root of the matter. Raz has described the way his discussions with his American production partners was a meeting of “rude Israelis and very polite Americans”, and when he flies to New York, his bull-in-a-china-shop approach to getting the answers he needs often verges on the comical. He’s one of that rare breed of people who can be brusque and abusive to American immigration officials and not be hauled away for interrogation, and he’s barely been in New York for a few hours when he’s in a nightclub, trying to beat the truth out of the guy he believes arranged the hit on Danielle. Hooking up with his old military buddy Ron (Gal Toren), Segev has no hesitation in bumping off a pair of hired killers with extreme brutality. The New York depicted here is dark, dingy and low-rent, eschewing Manhattan landmarks for the grime of the outer boroughs.

Hit & Run, Netflix review You’d have to say it’s not entirely plausible, but it’s a hair-raising, high-speed ride which rarely takes its foot off the gas. Raz, the very antithesis of Hollywood glamour, goes about his work with an unrelenting intensity which forces you to keep watching.

It’s not all boys with guns either. Segev enlists the help of an old friend, investigative journalist Naomi Hicks (Sanaa Lathan, pictured above), and she brings some welcome emotional shading and practical common sense to Segev’s hyperactive rampage. With the CIA, Israeli intelligence and the NYPD all breathing down his neck, he gets plenty of behind-the-scenes assistance from his cousin Tali (Moran Rosenblatt), a canny Tel Aviv cop who pulls out all the stops to help him while also coping with her own job and her pregnancy.

This first series ends on a dramatic cliffhanger. Surely only a diabolical international conspiracy could stop them making series two.

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