Special Ops: Lioness - Season 1 Review

Title: Special Ops: Lioness - Season 1
Starring: Zoe Saldaña, Laysa De Oliveira, Michael Kelly, Morgan Freeman and Nicole Kidman
Released: March 18, 2024 (Blu-ray™ and DVD)
Length: 5 Hours, 53 Minutes
Special Ops: Lioness - Season 1 Arrives on Blu-ray™ and DVD March 18th 2024

From Taylor Sheridan and a star-studded cast including Zoe Saldaña, Laysla De Oliveira, Michael Kelly, With Morgan Freeman, and Executive Producer Nicole Kidman comes Special Ops: Lioness.
The espionage thriller is Paramount+'s #1 most watched global series premiere on launch day, this 3-Disc set includes eight episodes and over 90 minutes of bonus content, including two new featurettes and behind-the-scenes of every episode.

Special Ops: Lioness
The cast includes Zoe Saldaña (Avatar, Guardians of the Galaxy), Laysa De Oliveira (In the Tall Grass, TV’s “Locke & Key”), Michael Kelly (Dawn of the Dead, Man of Steel), with Morgan Freeman (Driving Miss Daisy, Se7en), and Nicole Kidman (Moulin Rouge!, The Hours). SPECIAL OPS: LIONESS will also star series regulars Dave Annable (Yellowstone, Walker), Jill Wagner (Braven, Teen Wolf), LaMonica Garrett (1883, The Terminal List), James Jordan (Mayor of Kingstown, Yellowstone), Austin Hébert (Ray Donovan: The Movie, Unbelievable), Jonah Wharton (The Rookie), Stephanie Nur (1883) and Hannah Love Lanier.

Special Op: Lioness is inspired by an actual US Military program, and follows the life of Joe (Saldaña) while she attempts to balance her personal and professional life as the tip of the CIA's spear in the war on terror. The Lioness Program, overseen by Kaitlyn Meade (Kidman) and Donald Westfield (Kelly), enlists an aggressive Marine Raider named Cruz (De Oliveira) to operate undercover alongside Joe among the power brokers of State terrorism in the CIA's efforts to thwart the next 9/11.

Special Ops: Lioness sounds like a spin-off, but in fact it is actually a stand-alone title. It has a fantastic cast. Saldana has shown her dramatic acting abilities and action skills in equal measure in previous roles and here she excels once again as a badass CIA agent. Saldana is the perfect choice of actor for Joe – she can easily pull off being an experienced marine, but she can also offer the acting skills for more thoughtful moments as well. She has plenty of energy and clearly enjoyed the role and another opportunity to play a tough female character.

Joe leads a team of CIA operatives known as the Lionesses – an all-female undercover unit. These female operatives go undercover in far-flung places such as Iraq and ISIS-occupied countries with the aim of getting close enough to the female family members and friends of high-level targets to allow infiltration. Had the team been used to ‘befriend’ male targets this would all be a very different show and one that would feel out-dated and crass. Thankfully that is not the case. However, the characters do feel somewhat one-dimensional and they use a lot of glib lines and stock military dialogue as they talk tactic-speak and military nonsense rather than actually talking to each other like real people.

The direction is steady and the action scenes are entertaining and well-orchestrated. The show does what it does pretty well, it’s just it doesn’t seem to stretch itself and it feels like it is stuck in the early 2000s. It feels skin-deep, focussing more on thrilling action scenes than focussing on character development and plotlines. Nicole Kidman and Morgan Freeman are mostly confined to boardrooms and making telephone calls to issue order and make demands of Saldana’s character.

Cruz Manuelos (Laysla De Oliviera) is a former stripper with an abusive boyfriend. She’s working a dead job diner job flipping burgers. She ends up enlisting and becomes Joe’s new protégé. The show feels like an advertisement for the US military, with ISIS and anyone who is not white being the enemy. It’s well made and well acted, the script is the biggest let down, but the action scenes will keep fans of action and the spy genres happy enough. Special Ops: Lioness is packed full of enough high level actors to make it is a second season and beyond. Do watch out for Bruce McGill – he’s always fun to watch and has made a career out of playing military roles.

Special Ops: Season 1 Special Features:
Go undercover with the stars of Special Ops: Lioness with a behind-the-scenes look into the heart of The Lioness program, inspired by an actual US Military program. Special Ops: Lioness includes behind-the-scenes episodes and two brand-new featurettes. Dive into interviews with the star-studded cast, get an immersive glimpse into the intricate world of the Lioness program, and explore the rigorous training required to make the series as authentic as possible.
Embedded With Special Ops: Lioness
Battle Forged Calm: Tactics & Training

Author : Kevin Stanley