REVIEW: SWELTER

CAST

Jean-Claude Van Damme (Universal Soldier)
Josh Henderson (Step Up)
Alfred Molina (Spider-Man 2)
Lennie James (Colombiana)
Catalina Sandino Moreno (Maria Full of Grace)
Freya Tingley (Hemlock Grove)
Mindy Robinson (Check Point)
Courtney Hope (Transparent)
Tracey Walter (Conan The Destroyer)
Grant Bowler (Ugly Betty)

Five masked robbers steal $10 million from a Las Vegas casino. All but one, who is shot in the head and assumed dead, are captured, but the money goes missing. Ten years later, Cole, the leader, is broken out of jail by the rest of his gang: Stillman, Boyd, and Cole’s half-brother Kane. From a boastful mechanic, they learn that their former partner apparently survived and escaped with the money due to the intervention of a local physician. They track the physician to Baker, a small, isolated town with many secrets. They find Doc, the physician, at a local bar and, from him and other patrons, learn that the sheriff mysteriously appeared ten years ago. Curious, they start a bar fight in order to draw out the sheriff, who they realize is Pike, the partner who escaped. Pike now calls himself Bishop and claims to suffer from amnesia and migraines from the bullet fragments lodged in his head. Cole saves Bishop’s life during the bar fight, and Bishop runs a belligerent biker gang out of town.Later, Boyd and Kane suggest that they raze the town in search of the loot. Stillman objects, and Kane suggests that Stillman has gone soft. Cole is able to smooth things over and decides to instead probe Bishop to see how much he remembers. The two men discuss the town, and Cole drops a few hints about Bishop’s past. Cole asks Bishop to call a coin toss, but Bishop declines and says that it is meaningless, as a man will do what he wants regardless of the result. Cole, who was holding a gun on Bishop under the table, holsters his weapon and does not interfere when Bishop leaves. Meanwhile, Bishop experiences trouble with his step-daughter, London, whose mother, Carmen, has a past with Cole. Unknown to Bishop, Cole and Carmen were once lovers, and she moved to Baker to escape her previous life. Cole attempts to rekindle their romance, but she refuses.Boyd fatally injures Doc while researching Bishop, and Bishop learns more about his past from Doc’s notes. As he dies, Doc explains that he was the one who treated Bishop. Spurred on by the information in Doc’s notes, Bishop begins to remember bits of his past, though he still does not know where the money is. Boyd and Kane become restless and start trouble in the town. After a fight with her boyfriend, London makes out with Kane. When she refuses to have sex, Kane rapes her. At the local diner Boyd attempts to force himself on the waitress which attracts the attention of the deputy. Boyd engages in a draw with the town’s deputy, an award-winning sharpshooter, and wins, only to be shot down by Bishop, who is faster. Stillman, outraged that Kane would rape a teenage girl, confronts and is killed by Kane. Bishop and Cole meet at the town’s church, and Cole reveals that he has recruited the biker gang to replace his fallen men. Cole reveals Bishop’s criminal background to the populace and gives them until sunrise to find the missing money.At the local diner, Cole takes London hostage in order to ensure Bishop’s cooperation. Disarmed and without the support of the townspeople, Bishop is close to giving up when Carmen reveals that she knew about Bishop’s past the whole time and still accepted him. She recovers a hidden pistol and gives it to Bishop, who then goes to the diner to confront Cole. Kane uses London as human shield, to the disgust of all the others. The biker gang leaves in protest, and Cole shoots Kane dead himself, to the surprise of Bishop. As Cole leaves the diner, Bishop stops him and says that they still must settle their issues. The two have a duel, and Bishop kills Cole. Concerned that his criminal background has now become commonly known, Bishop prepares to go on the run. However, the townspeople rally behind him and offer to cover up the recent events. Bishop stays on the town’s sheriff, and an aerial shot reveals the spot where the money is hidden.The film is semi-grindhouse style with swagger and killing, but falls short in style. The heat, while mentioned, didn’t really play into the plot that well unless you count the dry characters. It is an okay crime-drama, nothing special.

Advertisements

REVIEW: COLOMBIANA

CAST

Zoe Saldana (Star Trek Beyond)
Cynthia Addai-Robinson (Arrow)
Cliff Curtis (Jubilee)
Michael Vartan (Alias)
Jesse Borrego (Con Air)
Ofelia Medina (Apolinar)
Lennie James (The Walking Dead)
Callum Blue (Smallville)
Jordi Mollà (Segunda Piel)
Graham McTavish (The Hobbit)
Sam Douglas (Eyes Wide Shut)

In 1992, in Bogota, Colombia, a drug lord’s assassin named Fabio Restrepo (Jesse Borrego) tells his boss, Don Luis Sandoval (Beto Benites), that he wants to leave crime behind. Even though Restrepo gives Don Luis a group of computer disks that he claims contains information about Don Luis’ business, Don Luis is incensed that Restrepo thinks he can leave. Don Luis sends his henchman Marco (Jordi Mollà) and a group of killers to kill Restrepo and his family. Fabio gives his nine-year-old daughter Cataleya (Amandla Stenberg) a SmartMedia[i] computer memory card with the information Don Luis wants and tells her it’s her “passport”; he also gives her the address of her uncle Emilio (Cliff Curtis), a criminal in Chicago, who will take care of her. The last thing he gives her is something that he says will keep her safe: his mother’s cattleya orchid necklace. After saying their goodbyes, Fabio and his wife Alicia (Cynthia Addai-Robinson) leave to battle Marco and his men but both are gunned down as Cataleya watches. Marco tries to manipulate her into giving the information, but when he asks what she wants, she stabs him in the hand with a knife and replies “To kill Don Luis”, and escapes. She makes it to the U.S. Embassy and gives the information in exchange for a passport and passage to the United States. She escapes from the airport through a bathroom window and takes a bus to Chicago. Once she finds Emilio, Cataleya asks him to train her as a killer.

Fifteen years later, a 24-year-old Cataleya (Zoe Saldana) has become an accomplished assassin. Her uncle serves as her broker, providing her with contracts. She is assigned to kill the notorious gangster Genarro Rizzo (Affif Ben Badra), who is currently in police custody. Implementing an elaborate plan, she gets herself arrested while dressed in a disguise. She manages to escape from her cell with tools she hid in her disguise, travel through the ventilation system, kill Rizzo, and return to her cell. The next morning she is released. As with her previous murders, she leaves her signature, the Cattleya flower, which is a message to her ultimate target, Don Luis. After learning about this Colombian orchid, FBI Special Agent James Ross (Lennie James) can now link this case to more than twenty other cases. As a last resort, the FBI decides to inform the public about Cataleya’s calling card. Don Luis, who is currently in a witness protection program overseen by CIA Agent Steve Richard (Callum Blue), realizes that Fabio’s daughter is in the U.S. and orders Marco (whose hand still hurts) and his operatives to find her.
Emilio is furious when he learns Cataleya has been killing with a “signature” since she has thereby put her relatives in grave danger. Cataleya’s newest target is William “Willy” Woogard (Sam Douglas), a millionaire who fled to the Caribbean with $50 million from his Ponzi scheme. She sneaks into his house and shoots him, and he falls inside his shark tank, where the sharks maul him to death. Under the name “Jennifer”, Cataleya later visits her lover, Danny Delaney (Michael Vartan), and spends the night with him. Danny snaps a picture of her while she sleeps. That morning she meets with her uncle, Emilio, who furiously tells her that eight people were slaughtered in Miami, one of them being his friend. Emilio then retires his niece from her work.

Danny shows her picture to his friend Ryan, but when Danny leaves to stop his car from being ticketed, Ryan forwards the photo to his sister-in-law, a police clerk, to find out who she is. Now in the police computers, the photo is recognized by the body/morph recognition software as that of the woman who was in the same prison as Genarro Rizzo the night he was killed. Detective Ross is notified, and the FBI quickly trace her location and they are supported by a SWAT team as they leave for her apartment. After Cataleya says goodbye, she goes home, but gets a call from Danny, who confesses that he took a picture of her. Upon seeing the SWAT team enter the apartment, she manages to escape through the garage and goes to Emilio’s home, only to discover that Mama, Pepe (Angel Garnica), and Emilio have been tortured and killed by Don Luis’s men, leaving her devastated.

Cataleya ambushes FBI detective Ross in his home in order to find out where Don Luis is. She threatens to kill Ross’s family members one by one if he doesn’t try harder to help her. Fearing for the safety of his family, Ross meets with CIA agent Steve Richard, who is unhelpful at first, but after Cataleya fires a warning shot through his “bulletproof” office window with a large-calibre sniper rifle, Richard gives up Don Luis’s current location. Cataleya then goes to a Louisiana land surveyor and threatens him for the floor plans of Don Luis’ mansion. Cataleya assaults Don Luis’s premises with heavy weaponry and wipes out all the guards, then confronts Marco and, after a violent hand-to-hand battle, stabs him in the neck. Don Luis escapes in a van, but is stopped by a garbage truck. Cataleya calls him on Marco’s cell phone, but Don Luis laughs and says that he will kill her and she will never find him because he is never where Cataleya wants him to be. Cataleya responds that he is exactly where she wants him to be. Pepe’s two attack dogs are right behind Luis’ seat and on her command they violently maul Luis to death. Danny is interrogated by the FBI, but when Ross leaves, Danny gets a cellphone call from Cataleya, who gives him her real name, and he tells her he loves her. Ross’ technical team alerts him that Danny is on the phone, but Ross realizes that Danny cannot be charged with any crime, so he is released. Cataleya boards an interstate bus headed for an unknown destination.I approached this film apprehensively, especially considering the clichés which abound in most revenge type films. Fortunately, the film is a masterpiece and Cataleya (Zoe Saldana) brings a vulnerability that we can all relate to, as well as awesome badassery. There is plenty of action, but it is done tastefully and always propels the story further. In terms of romance, there is a sweet storyline where we come to understand who Cataleya is as a woman. It is done tastefully and avoids the cringe factor. Family is also a major theme, and this is where the emotional roller-coaster stems from. Put simply, Colombiana is a fantastic film which you’ll be happy to watch over again. Give it a chance and you might just be surprised.

REVIEW: LOCKOUT

CAST

Guy Pearce (Prometheus)
Maggie Grace (LosT)
Vincent Regan (300)
Joseph Gilgun (This Is England)
Lennie James (The Walking Dead)
Peter Stormare (22 Jump Street)
Peter Hudson (Highlander: The Series)

In 2079, CIA agent Snow is arrested for murdering undercover agent Frank Armstrong, who had uncovered evidence of another agent selling secrets about the space program. Secret Service director Scott Langral, on advice from the President, has Snow convicted of murder and espionage. Snow is sentenced to thirty years on the maximum security space penitentiary MS One, where prisoners are kept in stasis for the length of their sentence. Snow’s friend and fellow agent Harry Shaw tries to locate Snow’s contact Mace, who knows where Frank’s briefcase containing the stolen secrets is hidden.

Meanwhile, the President’s daughter Emilie arrives on MS One to investigate claims that keeping prisoners in stasis can cause them to develop mental instability. The warden allows her to interview Hydell, a deranged prisoner. He manages to escape and releases all of the prisoners, starting a riot led by his brother Alex. Emilie is shot, and is captured along with others. Shaw convinces Langral and the President to send Snow to rescue Emilie, rather than risk her life in a siege. Snow is initially reluctant to go, but agrees after Shaw tells him that Mace is on MS One and could help Snow prove his innocence. Langral initially attempts to trick Alex into releasing Emilie, but it goes bad and Snow is forced to infiltrate MS One. Alex realizes that Emilie is the President’s daughter and secures her, but she escapes with her bodyguard Hock and they hide in a secure room. A problem with the oxygen supply brings Hock to sacrifice his life by suicide in order to stop himself from using up oxygen so as to buy Emilie more time.

Snow breaks into the secure room and rescues Emilie. Snow changes Emilie’s hair to conceal her gender, allowing them to walk through the prison population without being noticed. They find Mace, but the stasis has given him dementia and made him incoherent. Snow and Emilie bring Mace with them and attempt to reach the escape pod. With no one at the helm, the prison falls out of orbit and crashes into the International Space Station. The collision causes a hull breach, killing Mace. Snow brings Emilie to the escape pod, but discovers it has only one seat. Realizing that he has been sent there to die, he sends Emilie on her way, but she allows the pod to launch without her because she believes the remaining hostages will be killed. Hydell contacts Emilie and threatens the hostages unless she reveals her location; after she does, however, he kills them anyway.

Snow and Emilie discover evidence that the prisoners were being illegally used as test subjects. Alex finds and captures Emilie; he also shoots Snow, leaving him for dead. Alex learns that Hydell has killed all of the hostages; he contacts the President, threatening to let Hydell and the prisoners rape Emilie if they are not released. The President refuses to allow a siege and risk Emilie, causing Langral to temporarily relieve him of his command. Langral orders the destruction of MS One. Hydell tries to rape Emilie as promised, but is stopped by Alex. Hydell and Alex fight, resulting in Alex’s death. Hydell then tries to stab Emilie, but Snow arrives and knocks him out. Snow and Emilie flee from Hydell and the remaining prisoners. Meanwhile, Langral’s men plant a bomb on the prison. Snow and Emilie use space suits and jump from MS One as it detonates. Using their suits, Snow and Emilie re-enter Earth’s atmosphere and land safely in New York City, where Snow is arrested.

Emilie later realizes that Mace’s incoherent rambling was actually a code revealing the location of Frank’s briefcase. Snow gives the briefcase to Shaw, who unlocks it but is shocked to find it empty. Snow notes that he had not given Shaw the unlocking code, and Shaw is revealed to be the mole and arrested. Snow is released and his possessions returned, including a lighter given to him by Frank before his death. Examining the lighter, Snow finds a memory card containing the real secret information hidden inside. Emilie meets Snow and teases him after discovering his first name is Marion; the pair walk away together.

Amazing sci-fi action movie with a retro feel!! The story is sweet and simple and probably predictable but that matters not as you will have so much fun with this movie

REVIEW: HUMAN TARGET – SEASON 1 & 2

Image result for human target logo

MAIN CAST

Mark Valley (Zeo Dark Thirty)
Chi McBride (Pushing Daisies)
Jackie Earle Haley (Watchmen)
Indira Varma (Game of Thrones)
Janet Montogomery (Black Swan)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Tricia Helfer (Powers)
Donnelly Rhodes (Battlestar Galactica)
Adrian Hough (Underworld: Evolution)
Danny Glover (Lethal Weapon)
Ali Liebert (Legends of Tomorrow)
Courtney Ford (The Big Bang Theory)
Alessandro juliani (Smallville)
David Nykl (Arrow)
Aleks Paunovic (Mortal Kombat: Legacy)
Sean Maher (Firefly)
William Mapother (Powers)
Peter Bryant (Dark Angel)
Emmanuelle Vaugier (Two and a Half Men)
Sam Huntington (Superman Returns)
Kristin Lehman (Andromeda)
William B. Davis (The X-Files)
Chris Mulkey (Whiplash)
Dylan Neal (Arrow)
Brandon Jay McLaren (Power Rangers SPD)
Ted Whittall (Beauty and The Beast)
Mitch Pileggi (Stargate: Atlantis)
Leonor Varela (Blade II)
Kim Coates (Silent Hill)
Autumn Reeser (Sully)
Samantha Ferris (Along Came A Spider)
Lennie James (The Walking Dead)
Grace Park (Battlestar Galactica)
Peter Wingfield (Caprica)
Moon Bloodgood (Terminator Salvation)
Kavan Smith (Stargate: Atlantis)
Christopher Heyerdahl (Sanctuary)
Mackernzie Gray (Man of Steel)
Armand Assante (The Odyssey)
Christina Cole (Hex)
Robert Lawrenson (Underworld: Awakening)
Amy Acker (Angel)
Timothy Omundson (Xena)
Lee Majors (Ash vs Evil Dead)
Tahmoh Penikett (Dollhouse)
M.C. Gainey (Lost)
Cameron Daddo (Andromeda)
Tracie Thoms (Cold Case)
John Michael Higgins (Still Waiting)
David Orth (The Lost World)
Marie Avgeropoulos (The 100)
Tony Hale (Chuck)
Carlo Rota (Stargate Universe)
James Remar (Flashforward)
Nicole Bilderback (Buffy)
Steven Brand (The Scorpion King)

Christopher Chance (Mark Valley, Boston Legal), is a bodyguard for hire. His clients come to him as a last resort because their lives are in serious danger and they have no other alternatives. Chance’s mysterious past is only partially revealed as the season progresses–much of it in the season finale. What is known about him is that he’s probably a genius, he can hold his own in a fight, he’s a super-thief, he’s a crackshot with a gun, and the ladies love him.

In each episode, Chance typically assumes a cover to stay close and protect the client. He uses the client as bait to uncover the killer’s identity. In these episodes, Chance assumes a multitude of identities ranging from a prize fighter to a monk. Beyond Batman-like fighting skills, Chance’s best tools are his intelligence and charismatic personality; he holds his own in a conversation on any topic and masterfully fits in with any group of people. Joining Chance are Winston (Chi McBride, Boston Public, Pushing Daisies), his straight-laced handler, and Guerrero (Jackie Earle Haley, Watchmen), a computer hacker with questionable methods, but indisputable loyalty.Human Target is a throwback to the action series of the 80’s. While an intriguing backstory develops across the entire show, each episode is self-contained and follows a specific case from beginning to end. Viewers can practically jump in on any episode and not miss a beat. This is due in part to the swashbuckling, tongue-in-cheek script that never takes itself too seriously. It is also partly due to the brilliant performances by the main actors, Mark Valley, Chi McBride, and Jackie Earle Haley. The three play off each other extremely well. You can’t help but watch this show with a smile on your face as straight-man and former detective, Winston cringes at yet another action by Christopher Chance or Guerrero that gets the job accomplished, but is probably not entirely legal. Guerrero, especially, has morally ambiguous moments that cause those around him to be hysterically uncomfortable. When he makes his appearance on-screen, you know that hilarity and awesomeness are about to ensue. It’s similar to the height of Kramer’s heyday in Seinfeld where the studio audience would erupt when he appeared and he’d completely steal the scene. Laughs are guaranteed with Guerrero and his antics are accentuated into priceless gems by Winston’s reactions.The over-the-top action in each episode is wonderfully shot and rivals the quality of some Hollywood films. The outlandishness of the action is offset by the fact that the actors revel in the absurdity and take all the events in stride. No matter how desperate the situation, Christopher Chance always flashes a wry grin. His antics and expressions are reminiscent of Harrison Ford’s performances as Han Solo or Indiana Jones. The action is intense, but Christopher Chance can handle it and make you laugh while he does.Another testament to the excellent writing is that not a single episode is wasted. Obviously, some episodes are better than others, but all are highly watchable and re-watchable, action-packed, mysteries. Even the product placements are great and fit in with the spirit of the show. In the Tanarak episode, one of the most blatant product placements of all time occurs with a Camaro. It’s done with such blithe satire, instead of feeling the need to bathe after watching more advertisers nauseatingly snake their way into television, you just laugh at the silliness.In every episode, without requiring any background information, you are brought into the characters’ circle and get an immediate feel for their relationships. However, more information could have been provided earlier about Christopher Chance and his cohorts’ origins. Some of the information that was dumped in the final episode of this set could have been dispersed throughout the previous episodes. Instead you are left to fill in massive blanks with assumptions about the characters’ pasts. This is not a huge misstep by the writers because the characters’ mysterious origins are a large part of what makes the show so accessible.  This show is just pure fun to watch unfold and will appeal to practically anyone. Pop a bag of microwave popcorn, kick back, relax, and enjoy the ride.In season 2, with Matt Miller (Chuck) taking on executive producer-writer-show runner duties, he promised to flesh things out a bit without changing much of the original allure, which was good news. Mostly, he brought in Indira Varma  (Luther, Rome) as Ilsa Pucci, a widowed billionaire who takes a liking to the boys. And Janet Montgomery (Entourage) as a thief who also gets reluctantly entangled with the trio. So you can see the note Fox put on the show: Let’s leaven the testosterone a bit.And yet, nothing’s really changed. The escapism is sky high. Valley remains as charismatic as ever, with McBride’s disdainful asides and Haley’s chilly creepiness intact. It would be unfortunate if Human Target somehow got soapy or dumber, because good popcorn is rare.

 

REVIEW: LIE TO ME – SEASON 1-3

maxresdefault

MAIN CAST

Tim Roth (The Incredible Hulk)
Kelli Williams (Army Wives)
Brendan Hines (Terminator: TSCC)
Monica Raymond (Chicago Fire)
Hayley McFarland (The Conjuring)
Mekhi Phifer (Divergent)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Jake Thoams (A.I.)
Tim Guinee (Iron Man)
Nolan Gerard Funk (Arrow)
David Anders (Izombie)
Rance Howard (A Beautiful Mind)
Anthony Ruivivar (Scream: The Series)
Isabella Hoffman (Legends of Tomorrow)
Sasha Roiz (Caprica)
Kristen Ariza (Startup)
Mekenna Melvin (ChucK)
Sean Patrick Thomas (Save The Last Dance)
Deidre Lovejpy (Bones)
Carlos Lacamara (Heroes Reborn)
Megan Follows (Reign)
Christine Adams (Agents of SHIELD)
Ajay Mehta (Anger Management)
Shea Whigham (Agent Carter)
Cheryl White (Major Crimes)
Virginia Williams (Fairly Legal)
Pej Vahdat (Bones)
Jennifer Beals (Flashdance)
Kevin Tighe (Lost)
Currie Graham (Stargate: The Ark of Truth)
D.B. Woodside (Buffy)
Jason Beghe (Californication)
Clea DuVall (The Faculty)
Mageina Tovah (Spider-Man 2 & 3)
Melissa Tang (Mom)
Jonathan Banks (The Lizzie Borden Chronicles)
Erika Christensen (Flightplan)
John Pyper-Ferguson (Caprica)
James Marsters (Buffy)
Gretchen Egolf (Roswell)
Marc Blucas (Red State)
David Kaufman (Superman: TAS)
Karina Logue (Bates Motel)
Sean O’Bryan (The Princess Diaries)
Garret Dillahunt (Terminator: TSCC)
Lennie James (The Walking Dead)
Alicia Coppola (Another World)
Roy Werner (Weeds)
Jason Gedrick (Beauty and The Beast)
April Grace (Lost)
Todd Stashwick (The Originals)
Ricky Jay (Flashforward)
Miguel Ferrer (Robocop)
Felicia Day (Dr. Horrible)
Jason Dohring (Veronica Mars)
Ashley Johsnon (Dollhouse)
Howard Hesseman (That 70s Show)
Mark Harelik (The Big Bang Theory)
Melissa George (Triangle)
Max Greenfield (Veronica Mars)
Bruce Weitz (General Hospital)
Enver Gjokaj (Agent Carter)
Alona Tal (Cult)
Khary Payton (Teen Titans)
Michael Beach (The Abyss)
Yara Shahidi (Ugly Betty)
Alyssa Diaz (The Vampire Diaries)
Kenneth Mitchell (Odyssey 5)
Richard Burgi (Chuck)
Conor O’Farrell (Stir of Echoes)
Catherine Dent (Termiantor: TSCC)
Kenny Johnson (Cold Case)
Erick Avari (Stargate)
Carmen Argenziano (Stargate SG.1)
Natalie Dreyfuss (The Originals)
Tiffany Hines (Bones)
Haley Ramm (X-Men 3)
Monique Gabriela Curnen (The Dark Knight)
Jennifer Marsala (Hart of Dixie)
Shawn Doyle (Reign)
Jamie Hector (Heroes)
Audrey Marie Anderson (Arrow)
Brent Sexton (Birds of Prey)
Katherine LaNasa (The Campaign)
Daniela Bobadilla (Anger Management)
Tricia Helfer (Battlestar Galactica)
Kathleen Gati (Arrow)
Noel Fisher (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles)
Maury Sterling (The A-Team)
Jessica Parker Kennedy (The Secret Circle)
Brandon Jones (Pretty Little Liars)
Jim Beaver (Mike & Molly)
Barry Shabaka Henley (Heroes)
John Diehl (Stargate)
Keith Robinson (Power Rangers Lightspeed Rescue)
Michael B. Jordan (Fantastic four)
Frankie Faison (The Silence of The Lambs)
Paula Malcomson (The Hunger Games)
Victoria Pratt (Mutant X)
Adam Godley (Powers)
Dylan Minnette (Goosebumps)
Annabeth Gish (Flashforward)
Alexandra Lydon (Mockingbird)
Ashton Holmes (A History of Violence)

We have all told a lie at one point in our lives. While our the lies we have told may be small, one needs to look no further than his or her local news to see that not all lies are harmless. Sometimes though lies seem like a last resort and getting the truth isn’t as simple as a lie detector. Dr. Cal Lightman (Tim Roth) would be the first to tell you a lie detector is garbage and he illustrates this point in an early episode in the series.  A lie detector establishes a baseline for truthful statements and then measures body factors like pulse rate, skin conductivity and temperature; any changes from the baseline readings indicates a lie. The problem is as Dr. Lightman shows in his trademark sardonic fashion, do something as simple as introduce an attractive woman in the room and the most honest man will instantly be a liar to the machine. His solution? Himself.


Lie to Me throws viewers into the world of human lie detector, Cal Lightman. His lie detecting skills rely on universal facial expressions and how a well-trained individual can detect a liar from reading “micro expressions.” Lightman heads up the private deception detection firm The Lightman Group and throughout the course of Lie to Me’s thirteen freshman episodes, Lightman and his associates Dr. Gillian Foster, Eli Loker, and new protégé Ria Torres will put their finely trained skills to the test as their group is hired from clients ranging from billionaires worried about potential gold diggers to law enforcement in stopping a copycat serial rapist. As absurd as the notion of Lightman being able to read facial expressions to determine whether a person is lying is, prepare to be blown away, as it’s all based on the very real and groundbreaking research of Dr. Paul Ekman.


Dr. Ekman pioneered the study of micro expressions and universal emotion and serves as a creative inspiration for Roth’s character. The creators have kept Ekman in the loop throughout the creative process and Fox allows Ekman to blog about what is factual and what is exaggerated on the show’s website, which earns this new series bonus points for giving viewers something to think about once the episode ends.

Once Roth is able to establish himself in the role of Lightman and we get bits and pieces of his human side (his relationship with Dr. Foster as well as his teenage daughter). Fortunately, the formula of the show does allow for Lightman’s other colleagues to hold their own as there is almost always a secondary case assigned to the pair not working with Lightman on the primary case. This allows for character bonds to be formed, in some cases from scratch as Monica Raymund’s character, Ria Torres, is a new addition to the team and provides some great dramatic tension from time to time as her ability is natural, which often draws the ire and jealousy of her brilliant boss.


Finally, the most unique positive aspect of Lie to Me comes from viewers being able to play along at home. As we learn little explanations of micro expressions from Lightman, in later episodes it’s fun to try and spot character motivations before they are revealed to us by one of the team.

Back for a second longer season, this show is every bit the show that I so enjoyed in the first season and even a little bit more. As with all shows, the first season suffers from a few growing pains. Actors need to settle into their roles, writers need to discover their characters’ true personalities and basically the show needs to settle. Thats why the second season is often a bit better than the first and Lie to me is no exception to that. The show was smoother, the acting more comfortable and the character relationships had chance to really blossom in a believable manner.

In this second season Cal seems to be much more lively, a great deal more fun to watch. HIs mock nervous energy, dry sense of humour and heart of gold is a more likeable. The other key element I liked in this series was the advancement of the relationships. There’s not any major romantic steps forward in this season, but Cal’s relationship with his daughter is a real high point of the show, as are his relationships with Foster and the rest of the gang. Every character seems to enjoy real chemistry with the others and that’s rare in any show, yet alone a procedural drama.

Overall this is another strong season. The show is funny when it needs to be, fast paced and action packed when thats called for, and finally it is interesting enough to more than keep your attention with every episode. Quite frankly, by the end of this season I would normally be hooked for the long hall. Shame then that there’s only one season left to watch

I was aware going in that this was going to be the final season of the show however it quickly becomes apparent that show runners weren’t similarly informed . The series really didn’t have the feel of a final season and indeed the show seemed to be picking up pace as it approached its final episode with new characters getting screen time and relationships moving forward with the usual pace of a procedural show finding its feet.

Because of this not only did the season not feel like a final season, the finale lacked any kind of closure whatsoever. It’s a shame as this show deserved more than just to fizzle out in what felt like a mid-season break rather than a complete end.

All I can say to finish is that once again a good show has been cancelled early while so many bad shows remain, which is a real shame. However, don’t let the poor ending to this show put you off.