Viewer caution: Don’t watch BritBox’s Crossfire if you are planning to celebrate the holidays on an island paradise with a close group of friends.
Jo (Keeley Hawes) left the police force because she didn’t feel she was a good enough officer. Now working part-time as an inventory security guard – basically catching shoplifters – she’s thinking of going back. Her ex-husband, Paul (Ariyon Bakare), a member of the force, is encouraging Jo to return, something Jason, a social worker now married to Jo, opposes. Jo’s skills and courage as a police officer will be put to the ultimate test when she, Jason, and a group of friends decide to spend spring break at a tropical island resort where gunmen stage a violent attack.
Shalisha James-Davis as Amara
Amara ( Shalisha James-Davis), Jo’s daughter with Paul, comes on the trip, along with Jo and Jason’s younger children. Two other couples, Ben (Daniel Ryan) and Miriam (Josette Simon), and Abhi (Annika Rose) and Chinar (Vikash Bhai), along with their children, make up the rest of the group. Having everyone together will be complicated by the fact that Jo and Chinar have been flirting via text messages and may be headed to a full blown affair.
While the location of the island resort is never identified, the large hotel is protected by a high metal wall, conveying the idea that danger may never be far away. The intruders gain access with a key card given to them by one of the hotel employees. Jo is sunning on a hotel balcony, while the rest of the group is around the large pool. When gunshots break out, everyone scatters, no one sure who the shooters are or where they are hiding.
Annika Rose as Abhi and Keeley Hawes as Jo
Jo witnesses the chaos from high above and, even though it’s been a while, shifts into police mode. Ditching her flip-flops, she puts on her running shoes and heads downstairs. By now, her entire group, including Jason and their children, have been separated. Jo’s worst fears are confirmed when she witnesses the carnage the shooters have wrought in a short space of time. She manages to find the hotel manager and identifies herself as a former police officer. They find their way to his office where he unlocks a cabinet and produces two rifles. He tells Jo that it will be at least 30 minutes before police helicopters will arrive to help. In the meantime, they are on their own.
Some of the hotel guests, including Ben, have made their way out of the hotel, hoping to hide in the nearby hills. Miriam and Abhi are sheltering in the hotel kitchen. Miriam, a physician, is tending to Pilar, a hotel employee who has been shot.
Daniel Ryan’s Ben and Josette Simon as Miriam
Jo and the manager go around to guest rooms, encouraging people to leave and make their way into the hills. But danger is around every corner. When Jo finds two of her children, she makes the difficult decision to get them to safety while she stays to fight.
The three episodes, nail-biting, edge of the seat stuff, are broken up by flash backs to Jo’s normal life with her family and friends. With her marriage to Jason under stress from her plan to return to the force, Jo finds solace in the brief moments she has with Chinar. But if they are discovered, their betrayal will reverberate throughout the group. Jason and Chinar are best friends, as are Jo and Abhi.
Jo has to put all that aside as she fights for her life and those of everyone she loves. Keeley Hawes (whose resume includes In the Line of Duty, Honour, and Bodyguard), turns in another terrific performance.
Top photo: Keeley Hawes as Jo
Photos courtesy of BritBox
Crossfire is now streaming on BritBox.