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Mike Barnard

Published May 29th, 2006 | by Mike Barnard

The Kill Point Review

Classification: 15 Director: Steve Shrill, Joshua Trank Rating: 3.5/5

Action series are all the rage with 24, CSI, Prison Break and The Shield all providing armchair viewers with crime, guns, fistfights and tension of a quality that used to be reserved for the big screen. Their gimmicks tend to be the real draw though, with 24’s real time, Prison Break’s, er, prison breaks and now The Kill Point’s bank heist. It may be a setting seen many times before, but there’s plenty of tension between the negotiating cops and robbers made more complex by deals higher up to maintain a healthy dose of intrigue between the inevitable action.

Eight-part mini-series The Kill Point sees a group of military veterans, who recently returned home from serving in Iraq, band together to pull off a major Pittsburgh bank heist. Led by Mr Wolf, aka former platoon sergeant Jake Mendez (Leguizamo), they initially just want the money. However, when their plan goes awry they find themselves surrounded by police with a hostage situation and negotiator Captain Horst Cali (Donnie Wahlberg) to deal with, they make a political statement against the war in Iraq caught on television in a bid to make a getaway. Reaching a stalemate as they try to pick at any possible holes in the other’s defences, the FBI eyes up taking over the situation, the veterans begin to crack and high powers start putting their noses in.

Meetings on skyscrapers, hostage negotiations, media intrusion and personal links to key players bring a familiar game of cat and mouse. The most experienced of the three writers, James DeMonaco who penned The Negotiator and the 2005 remake of Assault on Precinct 13, is on familiar territory as he again uses an entrapped building space as the central focus for a battle of wits. Leguizamo is ideally cast as the fast talking leader not afraid to put himself in the line of fire and Wahlberg makes a fine upstanding officer fighting to do things his way. A welcome inclusion of fellow Saw series actor Tobin Bell puts his commanding presence to use as a wealthy father of a hostage (Christina Evangelista) trying to stick his oar in and save her.

Originality isn’t the highpoint here, The Kill Point satisfies on a simple but effective level until the robbers are eventually drawn out of their hole in an explosive finale featuring a few surprises. It’s a glossy production finely tuned to hit the mark for crime show fans.

EXTRAS
Cast and crew interviews.


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