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Movies, dining and things to do / Spokane and North Idaho

Netflix’s ‘Criminal: UK’ shows Tennant at his best


In between doing laundry and fixing meals yesterday, I watched most of the "Ong Bak" trilogy, the three films starring — and co-written and directed by — the Thai action star Tony Jaa.

In any list of martial-arts stars, Jaa has to rank at or near the top. Some of the stunts that he pulls off, especially in the first film, are incredible. My favorite: While running down the street, he jumps — at a full gallop — through a ring of barb (or is that barbed?) wire.

The second and third films have their moments, too. The fight Jaa's character has with dozens of enemies while dodging between and through the legs of a massive elephant is impressive, too.

But the "Ong Bak" trilogy is something that I pulled from my personal library. What I want to write about today is something that I saw recently while streaming Netflix: the first episode of a three-episode series titled "Criminal: UK."

Actually, the series I'm referring to is part of a larger 12-episode series titled just "Criminal" and featuring police procedure (involving interrogation, mostly) set in four different countries: the U.K., France, Germany and Spain. And we're going to watch them all.

And that's because the first one was so good. It stars David Tennant, the former "Doctor Who" (he was the 10th incarnation, preceding Matt Smith), as a doctor accused of raping and then murdering his 14-year-old stepdaughter.

Grilled by investigators, the doctor responds to their questions with a continual refrain of "no comment." But as the police team shifts its methods, so does the doctor — and pretty soon we viewers are tossed back and forth, not sure who to believe. Until the very end.

Every performance is top notch, as you would expect from a British cast. But Tennant proves, as he did in "Broadchurch," that he is as talented as actors come.

Can't wait to watch the others. And now I have the time — if I can just break away from my Asian martial-arts collection. And the laundry.

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