Review: World’s Most Wanted

Score: C

Rated: TV-14

"Empires never end. Empires never fall, never crumble. If one falls, another takes the place. Stronger and steadier."

The world is a complicated place. With an overflux of cultures, ideologies, customs, and traditions, various issues can exist amongst nations and its rightful citizens. World's Most Wanted, the newest crime-centered Netflix docs-series, doesn't dwell on simplistic differences instead focusing on drugs, the mafia, mass genocide, and acts of terrorism.

There appears to be no single qualifying trait that one must possess to mark inclusion within one of the five episodes that comprise the series; however, World's Most Wanted features a few of the most terrifying and deadly individuals to currently walk the planet. Though none of them will have you checking your locks for fear of a random break-in, they will force you to question more significant issues as they investigate international fugitives and shine a light on the complexities of dealing with criminals who cross borders.

From mafia leaders, the drug cartel, and the infamous White Widow, World's Most Wanted fully embraces its name as it stretches its boundaries to give a voice to numerous regions of the globe. The move plays hard to the streamer's international audience, leaving some in the dust as it trades glitz and glam for facts and evidence. The step is an impressive one, even though it doesn't transition the series away from the formulaic approach that has become a statement piece for Netflix over the last several years.

On top of that, the show fails to offer anything unique. While the content is new and the cases are somewhat unusual, all don't require a full episode as many don't connect with the viewer, focusing on headpieces in a much more complex organization. Contrary to what Netflix accomplished with Fear City: New York vs The Mafia, we never fully correlate with the larger than life personalities of these cases, instead, resorting to the facts as we follow the evidence for forty-two minutes in an overall effort to bring about a sense of interest in the victims and a yearning for some degree of closure we know from the onset will never fully materialize.

There is something to be said about shows that spend hours outlining a case, examining the evidence, documenting the potential corruption, and diligently walking you through the process. The time and energy spent is just thanks to the uniqueness and complexity of each case. This show, even at its peak, does not warrant such thorough high praise.

I'm not sure if it is a time issue or something more profound. Still, the series fails to fully engage, keeping matters at the surface as viewers laugh and gawk at the missed opportunities that arise from multiple governments (at times) attempting to cooperate for the better good.

All this isn't to say that the show is terrible. It is, at times, highly entertaining. But given its platform and presentation, it is hard to deny the many other, better-equipped series that are currently available. Maybe it stems from the international approach, or possibly the fact that a quick internet search of the most wanted global fugitives doesn't include the featured names; either way, the series proves itself a solid entry for true crime fanatics who need a fix, but little else.

*This series is streaming globally on Netflix.  All five episodes were reviewed.


About Stephen Davis

Stephen Davis
I owe this hobby/career to the one and only Stephanie Peterman who, while interning at Fox, told me that I had too many opinions and irrelevant information to keep it all bottled up inside. I survived my first rated R film, Alive, at the ripe age of 8, it took me months to grasp the fact that Julia Roberts actually died at the end of Steel Magnolias, and I might be the only person alive who actually enjoyed Sorority Row…for its comedic value of course. While my friends can drink you under the table, I can outwatch you when it comes iconic, yet horrid 80s films like Adventures in Babysitting and Troop Beverly Hills. I have no shame when it comes to what I like, and if you have a problem with that, then we’ll settle it on the racquetball court. I see too many movies to actually win any film trivia contest, so don’t waste your first pick on me. My friends rent movies from my bookcase shelves, and one day I do plan to start charging. I long to live in LA, where my movie obsession will actually help me fit in, but for now I am content with my home in Austin. I prefer indies to blockbusters, Longhorns to Sooners and Halloween to Friday the 13th. I miss the classics, as well as John Ritter, and I hope to one day sit down and interview the amazing Kate Winslet.