Paramount // 2011 // 559 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // June 6th, 2012
Never stand down.
Enrico Colantoni (Veronica Mars) returns as Sergeant Greg Parker, the shrewd seasoned commander of the Strategic Response Unit. The SRU is an elite team of law enforcement badasses who get called into action when various emergencies erupt; these typically involve hostage situations, large-scale disasters, bomb threats, drug stings, and terrorist situations. Basically, they live and work in the most dangerous city in the known universe. Perhaps Mos Eisley?
Now that my geek cred has been established, believe me when I say Flashpoint is about as safe and milquetoast a drama as you'll find. The kicker is, the show executes quiet well on a technical level. The action is shot with an impressive, cinematic flair and the actors seem to be interested enough in the storytelling and steady deployment of paychecks to offer some basic effort in their line-readings. Great to see my favorite Power Ranger Amy Jo Johnson still working!
Season Four picks up with a high-pressure court case involving one of their own, which invariably leads to some poor decision-making and a standoff (Pro Tip: they love standoffs in Flashpoint). As the thirteen episode order rolls on, we get a member of the team receiving the business end of a firearm, a bus crash surrounded by ill-tempered gunmen, a race riot, several kidnappings, a massive drug raid, and a suicide bomber who may or may not be a hateful white man (the correct answer is "may").
I can't imagine there's large budget attached to Flashpoint, but credit the directors and production designers for squeezing out every last cent. There's lots of action, explosions, and high-octane camera editing, but it all feels so bland and sanitized. You know it's a television action show, and there haven't been any decent ones since Stringfellow Hawk was shoving heat-seekers up the cans of Commies. Still, Colantoni is always worth watching.
The three-disc set: decent standard definition 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen, loud Dolby 5.1 Surround, a profile of Sergeant Parker, and featurettes on the set design and music of the show.
If you're a fan of empty-calorie TV pyrotechnics, Flashpoint: The Fourth Season offers plenty for you to indulge in. Everyone else? Seek amusement elsewhere.
The SRU's funding is cut to pay for skate park repaving.
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Scales of Justice
* 1.78:1 Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
* English (SDH)
Running Time: 559 Minutes
Release Year: 2011
MPAA Rating: Not Rated