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The Kill Point
cast: John Leguizamo, Donnie Wahlberg, Tobin Bell, Frank Grillo, and Jeremy Davidson

directors: Steve Shill and Joshua Trank

330 minutes (15) 2007
widescreen ratio 16:9
Lions Gate DVD Region 2 retail

RATING: 8/10
reviewed by James A. Stewart
The plot is simple: a disgruntled Iraq war veteran decides to get his platoon back together to rob a bank. The bank heist goes wrong and we have eight episodes of TV drama around this concept. That's 330 minutes of action based around a pretty static location. Credit to the directors and writers of The Kill Point for making this work, and work well.

Commissioned by the up and coming cable channel Spike TV - who also brought us Blade: The Series - The Kill Point is a success in TV drama terms. Admittedly it carries its fair share of the clichés that plague almost all TV action series; the shoot-out scenes somehow resulting in carnage that manages not to impact on the main characters, for example. But hey! No one done that better than The A-Team and we didn't complain back in the 1980s.

One of the strengths of this drama is the dialogue and interaction between the lead captor and the negotiator, played by John Leguizamo and Donnie Wahlberg respectively. This interaction is central to the storyline and both put in very convincing performances in their respective roles. Leguizamo - Jake Mendez, alias Mr Wolf in The Kill Point - is gritty as the angst-ridden leader of the robbers. His interaction with Captain Cali (Wahlberg) gives us an insight into their respective characters and allows the writers to craft a couple of very interesting characters against the backdrop of a very taut cat-and-mouse hostage situation.

There are of course a number of plotlines that seem to fizzle out, and some flaws that can be frustrating, but it needs to be taken into context that this is a low-budget TV series, on a minor cable channel. With this in mind it is a fantastic offering of action and character drama, with sound acting, action and some excellent tunes to boot. Despite this The Kill Point has enough twists and turns to keep you interested, and it is clear the directors play to the strengths of Wahlberg and Leguizamo by giving them the vast majority of airtime. Some may argue that this is also a weakness of the film, in that its reliance on these central characters leaves it exposed, but this is refuted by their performances.

There are parallels with current TV series favourites, such as 24 and Prison Break in The Kill Point, but nonetheless this stands on its own two feet and deserves recognition of its own. It powers along through the eight 40-minute episodes at a decent rate of knots and in those bleak winter nights that are just around the corner, this might be just the thing for you to snuggle up under the duvet with a cup of hot chocolate whilst you wait on the new series of 24 coming on.

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