HUMAN TARGET: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON
MOVIE: **** (out of 5)
BLU-RAY EXPERIENCE: *** (out of 5)
BY KEVIN CARR
WHAT IT’S ABOUT
Based on the lesser-known DC comic series, “Human Target” tells the story of the mysterious Christopher Chance, a former assassin who is now in the business of helping people who can’t help themselves. Partnering with a former detective and a brilliant computer hacker, Chance works freelance, putting himself in harm’s way in order to save his own clients.
WHAT I LIKED
I’ll have to admit that I was a bit reluctant to watch this show. First, it just seemed like a really low-brow hard sell as a big, dumb, explosive show. Second, it came highly recommended by someone whose tastes I do not always agree with, especially for the aforementioned big, dumb, explosive shows. However, after getting a chance to see this first season on Blu-ray, I can say that I am looking forward to season two when it premieres in November, and it now has time reserved on my DVR.
There are two main reasons why “Human Target” works. First, it has probably the best production value I’ve seen in a weekly television series. Many shows strive for a feature film look each week, but “Human Target” manages to achieve it. From the slick cinematography to the fantastic action to the ultra-cool production design, this show is not overblown but rather looks effortless. While it’s not really a spy show, the closest comparison I can make is this being a James Bond movie each week.
The second reason “Human Target” is great is because of the cast. Mark Valley is a special actor, playing the extremely good looking action hero but also having a strong dose of self-deprecation. He’s not as arrogant as Jeffrey Donovan comes across in “Burn Notice,” and he’s more warm and inviting than the entire cast of “Hawaii Five-0.”
Supporting Valley is Chi McBride, who has shown a brilliance as a similar (albeit less action-oriented) supporting role in “Pushing Daisies,” as well as Jackie Earle Haley as the laid-back techno-whiz behind the scenes. All three have great chemistry and just make this show a hell of a lot of fun.
WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE
The only reservation I have about this show is that it could soon end up folding back upon itself if it gets too much into its own mythology. There’s a nice teaser throughout the season about someone that Chance failed to protect, and that’s delved into quite a bit in the season finale. I like to have some backstory to my television characters, but stories like these have a tendency to get overly angsty as the characters dwell upon the loss more than just bringing a great show each week.
The first season Blu-ray comes with enhanced audio mixes and a commentary on the pilot by stars Mark Valley and Chi McBride as well as producers Jonathan E. Steinberg and Peter Johnson. There’s also some deleted scenes and two featurettes: “Human Target: Confidential Information” which discusses bringing the comic book to life and “Human Target: Full Contact Television” which focuses on the action of the series.
WHO’S GOING TO LIKE THIS MOVIE
Fans of action movies, but want to see one made well for TV.