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  • Hamish Hart

Sugar (2024) Series Review

RATING: 7/10

OVER the past five years, Colin Farrell has experienced a career renaissance of sorts. His performances in The Gentlemen, The Batman, Thirteen Lives, as well as his Oscar-nominated role in The Banshees of Inisherin, have helped land the Irish actor his own Apple TV crime mystery. But despite the show's alluring title, Sugar isn't as sweet as many hoped it would be.

After completing a contract in Japan, private investigator John Sugar (Colin Farrell) is hired by Hollywood producer John Siegel (James Cromwell) to track down his missing granddaughter Olivia (Sydney Chandler). But as Sugar dives deeper into this rabbit hole, he discovers this case is more akin to his sheltered past then he could have imagined.

Sugar features an abundant of similarities to other crime dramas, but what sets Farrell's latest series apart from others is its usage of film nostalgia. The show includes a considerable amount of call-backs and references to the golden age of cinema, which despite having an explanation for being included through John Sugar's obsession of the era, it still doesn't excuse the amount of times they're crammed into scenes that have no need for them. These needless nostalgic inclusions also cause a dampen of the editing which is quite awkward due to unsteady camera movements and scenes that feature upwards of ten cuts within 30 seconds, resulting in a severe disconnect in the plot's otherwise compelling story.

Farrell's performance is an excellent example of blending belligerence with suaveness, utilising inner monologues throughout much of the series to express his reasoning for becoming a private investigator and his traumatic past. Co-stars Amy Ryan and Kirby also manage to be standouts in the series playing off Sugar in contrasting ways that feel distinct in their own rights, with Ryan's Melanie also suffering a morbid past while Kirby's Ruby does a marvellous job at being a close friend and colleague for film connoisseur.

Sugar is one of Apple TV's best shows in recent time. The streaming service have had a tumultuous track record in terms of the quality of their shows, but Sugar manages to be a standout among their recent missteps. Colin Farrell carries much of the show, being a signature reason for the show's success. However, even with Farrell's captivating performance, the series still suffers from poor pacing, baffling editing choices, and needless nostalgia; but don't be fooled - Sugar still provides an intriguing mystery worth at least a single watch.


About Me

Hamish newsheadshot_edited.jpg

Born in Longreach in Central West Queensland, I have undertaken a number of prominent roles across the region such as Journalist and Digital Media for The Longreach Leader, as well as appearing on critically-acclaimed radio stations ABC Western Queensland and 4LG and West FM to discuss all things film.

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