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There is a kind of straightforward, throwback comfort to the Stanley Tucci-led AMC+ miniseries La Fortuna

  • "La Fortuna is not actually based on an airport novel, but there’s no shame in mistaking the new AMC+ miniseries for one," says Roxana Hadadi. "If the Lincoln Lawyer and Bosch author Michael Connelly were to secretly write fanfiction for the National Treasure universe, it might look a little something like this: conspiracies, middle-aged men yelling at one another about treasure-hunting, Stanley Tucci playing a villain who lies to his daughter and grins roguishly, location-hopping around Europe, and courtroom antics that rely on stolen documents from hackers and cleaning ladies alike. If you were to take a shot of thematically appropriate rum every time someone on La Fortuna insultingly calls someone else a 'pirate,' the six-episode series, premiering tonight and airing weekly afterward, would knock you out flat within minutes. These are all compliments. Since AMC+’s launch in June 2020, one of its primary methods of securing content has been picking up already aired, mostly European series for U.S. release. Some of those have been quite good, such as Gangs of London; some ambitious but uneven, such as Anna and Spy City; and some I watched but now cannot remember in the slightest, such as Too Close. The Spanish series La Fortuna, which aired last year in its country of origin, falls somewhere in between 'quite good' and 'ambitious but uneven' on that spectrum. Refreshingly cut-and-dried narratively but often corny in its dialogue and relationship dynamics, La Fortuna is not reinventing the wheel nor is it reinventing the courtroom-drama or thriller genres. It is a little too into bureaucracy, and its jokes at the expense of Americans are a little too obvious. We love air-conditioning and guns too much, don’t take climate change seriously, and our politicians are corrupt? Tell me something new, why don’t you! Nevertheless, there is a kind of straightforward, throwback comfort to La Fortuna. A fair amount of that comes from Tucci, weaponizing his extra-dirty-negroni grin into smugness and condescension, and Clarke Peters, sliding comfortably into Lester Freamon mode (his character in this miniseries even lives in Baltimore)."


    • La Fortuna features more maritime law than treasure-hunting thrills: "What if, AMC+’s new six-part Spanish miniseries La Fortuna dares to ask, treasure hunting is actually quite dull?" asks Daniel Fienberg. "What if, instead of ancient booby traps and shady government conspiracies, the real-life business of treasure hunting focused almost exclusively on maritime law and international bureaucracy? The more realistic depiction, it turns out, would be consistently interesting, but never even slightly thrilling, other than occasional bouts of Stanley Tucci swearing and kicking things."
    • La Fortuna is never less than watchable, but it is never emphatic enough to be compelling: "Even a car chase involving two huge semi-trailers and some feral drivers armed to the teeth with weapons and machismo, which promises to be a climactic Fast and Furious thrill, fizzles almost instantly, dissolving into the flow of events," says Stephanie Bunbury. "The tone is reflective, and often ironic; Guillermo Corral, a former director-general of the Ministry of Culture who wrote the graphic novel, said at the time that his interest was in writing about the business of government."
    • La Fortuna wants to ground larger-than-life adventures in everyday reality: “We wanted adults who had enjoyed adventure stories as children to go on another adventure now,” says writer and director Alejandro Amenábar. “An adventure that has the essence of pirates and treasures at the bottom of the sea, but seen from a realistic perspective.”

    TOPICS: La Fortuna, AMC+, Alejandro Amenábar, Stanley Tucci