Netflix’s latest original feature, Ferry, the prequel to the crime series Undercover, is an entertaining thriller packed with melodrama and suspense. Directed by Cecilia Verheyden, this is the origin story for the 2019 series’s main villain Ferry Bouman (Frank Lammers), showing his action-fuelled journey from hitman underling to the powerful kingpin in the original show. Despite being a spin-off that utilises familiar actors and writing cues, even for those unfamiliar with Undercover’s story, Ferry is a film that manages to stand on its own as a fun (albeit tropey) production.
As with many other gangster movies, it’s hard not to see any Martin Scorsese influence or references in the story and style. Its central plot, themes and even opening voiceover seem to draw inspiration from the classic movie Goodfellas, and it sticks to all the narrative beats that fans of the genre will be able to predict from the get-go. After an attack on the gang that leaves the boss’s son in the hospital, Ferry is sent to his childhood home in Brabant to “take care” of the suspects. While there, he reunites with his estranged sister (Monic Hendrickx) and meets Danielle (Elise Schaap). After a bit of murder and even a drug-laced night at a fairground, Ferry begins an internal struggle between his loyalty and (somewhat selfishly motivated) morality.
The script is straightforward and delightfully goofy, with screaming matches breaking out often and relationships moving with high-speed intensity. The overly dramatic scenes are strangely charming, the pacing never drags, and even if the writing seems over the top at times, the viewer is still drawn in. As clichéd as they may be, all the elements never seem out of place, as the cast’s strong acting and Ferry’s playful cinematography all work seamlessly together. However, what does stick out is the casting of the series actors to play younger versions of themselves. Frosted tips and flared jeans can only go so far to aid suspension of disbelief, and for fans of the original series the effect can be jarring.
All in all, Ferry is a great, quick watch for any action fans. With its simple but focused script, occasional jokes and typical gangster film logic, it ticks all the right boxes for the genre and makes for a fun night in.
Ferry is released on Netflix on 14th May 2021.
Watch the trailer for Ferry here: