The Argentinian thriller Intuition begins where most thrillers end. Renegade detective Francisco Juanez (Joaquín Furriel) is dragging his skeptical colleagues deep into a dark forest where he believes a serial kidnapper of young girls will be. He’s following his, ahem, intuition, despite the recommendations of those around him. Juanez is an almost parody-level embodiment of the type that has propped up the crime genre, the type who burns the rule book, before chucking the ashes out of the window of a fast-moving car while smoldering directly at the camera. But as his fellow cops roll their eyes at his latest antics, he proves them wrong yet again by leading them directly to the bad guy while saving the only surviving captive in a dramatic shootout. But credits don’t roll and instead the film, from writer-director Alejandro Montiel, splinters off into two new cases.
The schlocky nature of Montiel’s opening sequence (a solid 30% of the budget was clearly spent on a fog machine) tips us off as viewers what territory we’re in for the next two hours. Intuition is like a dog-eared 90s potboiler you read on the beach, half-vaguely invested but also half-waiting for something better to do with your day. It’s adding nothing new to a genre that’s already overstuffed, thanks in large part to serial overstuffers Netflix, the platform it’s premiering on, and rather than feeling like a shiny new original movie, it’s more reminiscent of a few stitched-together episodes of a small-screen procedural series.
This week on Intuition, maverick Juanez leaves one investigation and heads straight into another – this time it’s the murder of a spoilt society girl. He’s working with rookie Manuela “Pipa” Pelari (Luisana Lopilato) who has also been asked by her superior to investigate Juanez over any involvement he might have had in the death of a local youth who killed Juanez’s wife. What’s most surprising about Intuition is that the three cases don’t really have much connective tissue, other than the characters investigating them, making it feel like you’ve just started watching a show mid-season. The film is in fact a prequel to 2018 thriller Perdida, also directed by Montiel.
It’s a plodding watch, not uninteresting, exactly, but missing a jolt of energy or something original enough to justify its existence. The character of Juanez is such an unintentionally comic creation that what Montiel might think is mysterious ultimately comes off as silly. He’s styled like a male model mid-shoot, and he breaks just so many rules that he swiftly transforms from handsome rebel to smug bore, doing everyone’s job way better than they could ever manage. The dynamic between him and his younger colleague is both cat and mouse as well as teacher and student, but the sparks don’t really fly despite a committed performance from Lopilato, whose story continues in Perdida.
What propels us past the cliches of Intuition is a desire to see just how it all ties together, an assumption that a story as busily plotted as this must have an ace up its sleeve. But the last act is all fizzle, played out predictably with a mundanity that no amount of sweeping aerial shots can disguise. There’s no remarkable reveal to make the previous two hours feel like time well spent, just a shrug of an ending instead. Hardcore crime fans are the prime audience, but they’re already heavily catered to elsewhere by writers with far more ingenuity. This is everything they’ve seen before.
Intuition is available on Netflix now