Image Entertainment // 2009 // 308 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // July 20th, 2009
Bad boys, bad boys...Whatcha gonna do?
Chris Ryan is a former member of the British SAS and an all-around badass. Determined to craft a reality show that could actually get someone killed, he embarks on a trip around the world, embedding with some of the toughest, most elite police forces on the planet.
Each episode of Elite Police has Ryan deploying to a volatile area of the world and hooking up with the designated super-cop squad tasked with defusing some of the craziness that goes down on a daily basis. Most of it has to do with drugs, of course, but that doesn't mean the bad guys need to get themselves shot up any less.
The show plays out like this: Ryan introduces the geography he's occupying for the episode, detailing some historical background and outlining the particular type of crime besieging that country. After the intro, Ryan starts hanging with the police and trains for about a week, prepping to roll out on a real life mission. During the training phase, Ryan talks to the cops and their leaders, getting info about the challenges of policing and once in a while lights off some awesome weaponry. Then it's off to the mission field -- with varying degrees of exciting outcomes.
And there's your series, seven episodes worth, taking Chris Ryan and viewers to places like Colombia, Israel, Poland, Mexico, and Kazakhstan. I very much enjoyed the exposure to the elite police squads in these regions, of which I have little existing familiarity. The behind-the-scenes look at how these detachments operate is compelling stuff and Chris Ryan is an effective navigator and translator of the military goings-on. The drills he accompanies the police forces on are high-octane, and the ones the Israeli border troops carry out to abduct terrorist cell leaders and prevent suicide bombers is especially cool.
It's when the show shifts to the real-life mission excursion that the series falters a bit. Not taking anything away from the actual tension or veracity of the missions -- maybe it's just the nature of the mission that day -- but there isn't a ton of life-or-death super terrific action to be had. I presume there has to be some manner of control before Ryan and his cameraman (who may or may not be constantly operating with a full pantload) venture into the hot zone. For example, when they get to a Colombian drug-making lab, the bad guys have already bugged out. And the big drama of the Poland mission is a domestic dispute with a druglord's whiny wife.
Still, for the military aficionado in your family, there's plenty of value lurking within. The war porn is nifty, with Ryan playing around with some truly magnificent tools of destruction (in Kazakhstan he test drives a shotgun bazooka thing that elicits fits of little boy giggling from him when blows the @$#% out of a few barrels). And it's genuinely interesting to witness the Wild West scenarios in various corners of the world. Definitely give this a spin, if the content is your bag.
Chris Ryan's Elite Police two-DVD set isn't bad. Episodes receive a 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer and 2.0 stereo audio mix, both of which are more than fine. Extras include bonus footage, an interview Chris Ryan, and some outtakes.
Not Guilty. Lock and load.
Review content copyright © 2009 David Johnson; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2013 HipClick Designs LLC
Scales of Justice
Studio: Image Entertainment
* 1.85:1 Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
Running Time: 308 Minutes
Release Year: 2009
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* Bonus Footage
* Official Site