The Kill Point
hostage siege at bank
Review of: Season One
Type of Series: Action, Drama.
Similar Shows: 24 (tense action against the clock, with a lot of violence and gun battles, plus big twists in the story), Prison Break (you follow a variety of characters, some of them are quite evil but you can't help but like and root for them), Wiseguy (the bad-guy is the charismatic one and you root for him, even as you fear what he will do next), Standoff (it's about a hostage siege).
Typical Episode: Like most serialized dramas, each episode of The Kill Point was driven by a theme or plot-thread. We usually started out with the continuation/resolution of the previous episode's cliffhanger. After that, our time was divided between Wolf and his crew inside the bank, and Cali and his crew outside the bank. Wolf was trying to contain the hostages, keep his men content and find a way out of the bank. He was also dealing with some personal demons. Cali, the hero of the piece, was just concerned with getting the hostages out alive. Between the scenes of the two men, we got snippets of life with the hostages, and a few scenes away from the bank. Often with the rest of Wolf's team, watching everything from a skyscraper, or with the father of one of the hostage's as he conspired to thwart the hostage takers. In this way, The Kill Point kept the narrative from becoming too clostrophobic.
Strengths: Cast, action sequences, twists, fast pace, variety of characters, variety of locations.
Weaknesses: We've seen all of this before.
Impressive Characters: Mr. Wolf, the leader of the bank robbers, was the stand-out best character in the piece. His nemesis, the grammar-obsessed Captain Cali, was your typical clever, gutsy, tough TV cop, but he worked. Chloe, the hostage who fell in love with Wolf was fascinating to watch.
Impressive Actors: Donnie Wahlberg as Captain Cali, trying everything and anything to get the hostages out alive. John Leguizamo as the chief hostage-taker gave a powerful, charismatic performance. Jeremy Davidson came close to stealing the show in later episodes as the seriously unhinged Mr. Rabbit. Frank Grillo (great on Prison Break, and equally great here) played the most sympathetic and 'normal' of the robbers. Jennifer Ferrin was superb as the fragile hostage who fell for Mr. Wolf. Christine Evangelista played the spoiled rich girl in the group who pretended to be interested in one of the HTs. Geoffrey Cantor was the smarmy unpleasant bank manager, whose final scene was especially haunting.
Impressive Episodes: The pilot was stunning, as was the finale. The best, though, might be the one where the hostages got the guns and turned the tables on Wolf's gang. This led to a tense standoff. Gripping TV.
Impressive Writers: James DeMonaco (who worked on Ryan Caulfield) and Todd Harthan were the talent behind this.
Less-Than-Impressive Characters: Captain Cali's superior was the typical dick you see on these shows, always trying to thwart the hero at ever turn. His side-kick, the SWAT leader, was a character that ultimately went nowhere. Likewise, two people hiding in the bank, were part of a storyline that went nowhere. And there was a SWAT sniper who appeared in every episode for a short monologue or two who, ultimately, contributed nothing to the show. While I loved this show, it was plagued by strange creative decisions.
Less-Than-Impressive Actors: No weak actors.
Less-Than-Impressive Episodes: No weak episodes.
Continuity: Strong. You need to see all the episodes, and you need to see them in order.
Rewatchability: Pretty good. It's fast moving and action packed. I'd be happy to watch it all again.
Other Info: Season One has just concluded, at time of writing, and the producers have mapped out a second season, but are awaiting word of a pick-up.
Three Things I Really Like About This Series:
Three Things I Really Don't Like About This Series:
Cali's superior officer (being such a cliché).
The sniper storyline (it went nowhere).
The couple-in-closet storyline (it went nowhere).
First 24. Then Prison Break and Sleeper Cell. This year we got Traveler and The Kill Point.