Noah Centineo woefully miscast in Netflix spy thriller ‘The Recruit’

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Noah Centineo’s journey from a rom-com king to the lead in the Netflix spy thriller “The Recruit” is a bit of a bumpy ride.

Centineo, who starred in “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before,” is miscast here in a series that’s confused not only about its leading man, but about its genre.

“The Recruit” (now streaming) follows Owen Hendricks (Centineo), 24-year-old rookie lawyer who is only on Day 2 on his job working for the CIA when his life gets turned upside down.

He quickly becomes ensnared in intrigue, thanks to past agency asset Max Meladze (Laura Haddock), who’s imprisoned in Arizona and is threatening to reveal agency secrets unless she’s exonerated. (Owen conveniently stumbles on her letter when he’s tasked with sorting through mail, since that’s the boring busywork that new hires are given).

As Owen tries to deal with this situation, he becomes involved in car chases, gun battles and, eventually, torture.

The show’s plot is essentially, “hapless new guy bumbles his way through the CIA.” It’s hard to pin down tonally, since that sounds like a slapstick comedy, and it does have humorous moments. But it’s also serious about being an earnest thriller and seems to have some half-baked commentary about the CIA and the drudgery of bureaucracy.

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