The Kill Point – DVD Review

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Available at Amazon.com

Director

Steve Shiill and Joshua Trank

Cast

Steve Cirbus ………. Deke Quinlan
John Leguizamo ………. Mr. Wolf
Michael Hogan ………. Hawk
Donnie Wahlberg ………. Horst Cali
Geoffrey Cantor ………. Abe Shelton
Jeremy Davidson ………. Mr. Rabbit
Jennifer Ferrin ………. Chloe
Frank Grillo ………. Mr. Pig
Adam Cantor ………. Rocko
Ryan Sands ………. Leroy
Nick Koesters ………. One Armed Leon
Wayne Kasserman ………. Tonray
J.D. Williams ………. Cat
Patrick Jordan ………. Johnny Boy

The Movie

Spike TV has always been known to push the limit on what cable television will show; it was Spike that helped broker mixed martial arts into the mainstream with its nonstop promotion of the UFC with both a reality show and live events broadcast on the network. Making its niche as a network for men, Spike TV has evolved from merely showing nature sports and Bond films to being the network you can go to for unique takes on sports (i.e. Pros vs. Joes), direct to video action movies and awards shows out of the mainstream celebrating things like Horror Movies and Video Games. In 2007, Spike capitalized with a show to compete with cable offerings such as The Wire, The Sopranos, Prison Break and other crime series that received considerable commercial and critical fanfare: The Kill Point.

Mr. Wolf (John Leguizamo) and a group of returning Iraq War vets have a plan to get rich quick: Use their military skills to execute a precision-based bank robbery in broad daylight. It’s a quick strong-armed robbery, executed by men with military training and military-grade weaponry. But for all the best timing and planning in the world comes a major complication. When an off-duty FBI Agent gets kills trying to stop them, wounding several before her own death, the plan is thrown off and they hole up inside the bank. Taking hostages, the crooks try to formulate a plan of escape while the police try to find a way to thwart them. Led by Horst (Donnie Wahlberg), the hostage negotiator, it becomes a game of cat and mouse between Wolf and Horst until the series’ violent finale.

What makes the series interesting is in how everything goes is that it follows the traditional siege-format of an extended bank robbery, made famous for years from Dog Day Afternoon to Inside Man, except it extends it over a long period of time. We get to really know the characters, their motivations, et al, quite well based on how much time we get with them. Eight hours is much more time than normal and the series knows it; there are lots of little touches to go with the big ones in terms of character development. Everyone is fleshed out beyond the usual archetypes and stereotypes of those involved with a bank robbery; you can see the motivations behind it, as well as the reasons why they throw up certain levels of subterfuge as well. Everything has a reason to happen because we get to see it happening at a slow, deliberate pace. It’s refreshing to see a series about a bank heist if only because nothing feels rushed or forced; everything happens at its own pace. The tension is there for the eight hours of screen time, allowing for a bit stronger story to develop. But it wouldn’t work without the on-screen chemistry of its two main actors.

Wahlberg, best known as Mark Wahlberg’s older brother or as part of New Kids on the Block (depending on which generation you happen to belong to), has a unique character that he manages to flesh out well. Horst is a complex man, a new father who is also dedicated to his job, who does little quirky things and has a candor that’s clich├ęd but fun to watch. His physical presence, how he moves and communicates nonverbally, is as fascinating as the things he says. Leguizamo matches him in being a unique presence, but the fascinating part is in watching the two interact. For the most part the two are communicating via phone, so they’re not acting directly together per se, but one can cut the tension with a knife when they two are interacting. It’s intense action from two veteran character actors that carries the series, leading to a memorable showdown between the two that serves as the series’ climax.

The Kill Point was heavily hyped for a reason; it was one of the more compelling shows on television during its limited run. While it’s disappointing it wasn’t renewed for another season, it ends on such a conclusive note that there’s nothing more of the story to tell.

A/V QUALITY CONTROL

The Kill Point is presented in a widescreen format with a Dolby Digital presentation. The series looks as crisp on DVD as it did on television with no grain on the film and good color saturation throughout the series. The audio uses the system well, spreading out the sound evenly.

The Extras

Character Interviews are the only extra available. They are two minute character sketches of all the main characters, as each talk about the basics behind the characters in what originally were big pieces

The DVD Lounge’s Ratings for The Kill Point
CATEGORY RATING(OUT OF 10)
THE MOVIE

9.0
THE VIDEO

8.5
THE AUDIO

8.5
THE EXTRAS

2.0
REPLAY VALUE

8.5
OVERALL 9.0(NOT AN AVERAGE)