A&E // 2008 // 500 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Franck Tabouring (Retired) // November 14th, 2009
The bad guys have nowhere to hide...
A&E has been cranking out a bunch of cop shows during the past years, and the latest to join the world of reality TV is Manhunters: Fugitive Task Force, a series about a group of New York-based U.S. marshals whose mission it is to catch the nation's most-wanted fugitives. Now you can experience the first season's twenty episodes on DVD:
* "Third Time's the Charm"
* "Roxanne's First Fugitive"
* "Hide and Seek"
* "Valentine's Day Heist"
* "Sneaking Back In"
* "Pep Takes It Personal"
* "Fingerprints Don't Lie"
* "15 Years Running"
* "Timing is Everything"
* "The Colombian Cartel Doctor"
* "On the Stroll"
* "The Bronx Boys"
* "Roxy's Sweep"
* "Bloods of Newark"
* "Wake Up Call"
* "With Friends Like These"
Much like any other cop reality show these days, Manhunters: Fugitive Task Force follows an elite group of experienced and highly trained marshals as they head out to hunt down and arrest the most vicious criminals across the nation. From drug dealers to rapists, murderers, and any other fugitives, these men and women show no mercy when it comes to getting the bad guys off the street and into a prison cell.
The structure of the show is pretty straightforward, as a crew rides along with the agents of the New York and New Jersey divisions, the busiest units in the country. Most episodes begin in the marshals' offices with meetings, during which one or more fugitives are introduced. Following is an extensive investigation into where the suspect may be hiding out, and once a potential location has been determined, the marshals head out to knock on doors in an attempt to catch the folks they're after.
The action can get pretty intense, and that's what I like about this show. Manhunters: Fugitive Task Force is fast-paced and well-edited, and, even though we rarely get to see what really goes on inside after the agents storm into a home to make an arrest, most episodes generate enough tension to capture viewers' attention. It's quite interesting to see how these experts plan an arrest once a suspect has been tracked down to a location.
Of course, finding a fugitive is not always easy, and, in some episodes, the marshals are really struggling to find a lead. Needless to say, they are doing an important job, and watching them do what they do best is both intriguing and entertaining. None of this is exactly spectacular, but there's something about it that just makes it all interesting enough to watch.
Interviews with members of the task force and the use of interactive maps via Google Earth to highlight destinations and suspect locations complement the field footage well, and to be honest, not one of these episodes are in any way boring or too monotonous. Their routine may not change that often, but the nature of the cases they receive does, which obviously helps the series preserve a sense of novelty.
The bonus material on this three-disc set includes an audio commentary for "Third Time's a Charm." Also included is "Meet the Task Force," a short featurette that introduces all the agents you get to see throughout the series. The special features also include some additional footage and interviews with some of the agents, who discuss the importance of the task force, how it came into being, and how it really operates around the country.
Technically, the set offers a clean full-frame transfer with decent picture quality. Sound is good as well.
Manhunters: Fugitive Task Force is a fun show I found very easy to enjoy. It's one of those television series you simply can't stop watching, and that's definitely a good sign. I'm not a big fan of reality TV, but this program definitely caught my interest.
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Scales of Justice
* Full Frame
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
Running Time: 500 Minutes
Release Year: 2008
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* Bonus Footage
* Official Site