REVIEW: ZERO DARK THIRTY

CAST

Jessica Chastain (The Huntsman)
Jason Clarke (Dawn of The Planet of The Apes)
Jennifer Ehle Fifty Shades Darker)
Kyle Chandler(Super 8)
Mark Strong (John Carter)
James Gandolfini (KIllThem Softly)
Harold Perrineau (Constantine)
Mark Duplass (Greenberg)
Fredric Lehne (Lost)
John Barrowman (Arrow)
Jessie Collins (Revolution)
Édgar Ramírez (Joy)
Fares Fares (KIll Your Darlings)
Scott Adkins (X-Men Origins)
Joel Edgerton (Exodus: Gods and Kings)
Chris Pratt (Jurassic World)
Callan Mulvey (300: Rise of an Empire)
Taylor Kinney (The Forest)
Mike Colter (Luke Cage)
Frank Grillo (The Purge 2 & 3)
Christopher Stanley (Argo)
Stephen Dillane (Game of Thrones)
Mark Valley (Human Target)

In 2003, Maya, a young U.S. Central Intelligence Agency analyst, has spent her entire brief career, since being recruited for the agency, focused solely on gathering intelligence related to al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, following the terrorist organization’s September 11 attacks on the United States in 2001. She is reassigned to the U.S. embassy in Pakistan to work with a fellow officer, Dan. During the first months of her assignment, Maya often accompanies Dan to a black site for his continuing interrogation of Ammar al-Baluchi, a detainee with suspected links to several of the hijackers in the September 11 attacks. Dan subjects the detainee to approved torture interrogation techniques, i.e., stress positions, hooding, subjection to deafening noise, sleep deprivation, waterboarding, and humiliation.After failing to get al-Baluchi to give up information on an attack in Saudi Arabia, he and Maya eventually trick Ammar into divulging that an old acquaintance, who is using the alias Abu Ahmed al-Kuwaiti, is working as a personal courier for bin Laden. Other detainees corroborate this, with some claiming Abu Ahmed delivers messages between bin Laden and a man known as Abu Faraj al-Libbi. In 2005, Abu Faraj is apprehended by the CIA and local police in Pakistan. Maya is allowed to interrogate him, but he continues to deny knowing a courier with such a name. Maya interprets this as an attempt by Faraj to conceal the importance of Abu Ahmed.Maya spends the next five years sifting through masses of data and information, using a variety of technology, hunches, and sharing insights. She concentrates on finding Abu Ahmed, theorizing that he is the best way to find bin Laden. In 2008, she is caught up in the Islamabad Marriott Hotel bombing. Dan, departing on reassignment, warns Maya about a possible change in politics, suggesting that the new administration may prosecute those officers who had been involved in interrogations. Maya’s fellow officer and friend Jessica is killed in the 2009 Camp Chapman attack. That same day, a grieving Maya receives an interrogation video of a Jordanian detainee, who claims the man previously identified from a photograph as Abu Ahmed is a man he personally buried in 2001. Several CIA officers – Maya’s seniors – conclude the target who could be Abu Ahmed is long dead, and that they have searched a false trail for nine years.Sometime later, a fellow analyst researching Moroccan intelligence archives comes to Maya and suggests that Abu Ahmed is Ibrahim Sayeed, a suspect who had come to CIA attention shortly after 9/11. Realizing her lead may still be alive, Maya contacts Dan, now a senior officer at the CIA headquarters. She theorizes that the CIA’s supposed photograph of Abu Ahmed was actually of his brother, Habib, as he was said to bear a striking resemblance to Ibrahim and was known to have been killed in Afghanistan, and points out that Abu Ahmed’s death in 2001 contradicts Ammar’s account.Dan uses CIA funds to purchase a Lamborghini for a Kuwaiti prince in exchange for the telephone number of Sayeed’s mother. The CIA traces calls to the mother and quickly identifies one suspicious caller who persistently uses tradecraft to avoid detection. Maya concludes that the caller is Abu Ahmed, and with the support of her supervisors, numerous CIA operatives are deployed to search for and identify the caller. They locate him in his vehicle and eventually track him to a large urban compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, near the Pakistan Military Academy. As Maya leaves her residence one morning, she is attacked by multiple gunmen, but the bullet-proof glass in her car saves her. Knowing that she has been blacklisted by al-Qaeda and there will be more attempts on her life if she stays, her superiors remove her from the field and send Maya home to Washington, D.C.The CIA puts the compound under heavy surveillance for several months, using a variety of methods. Although they are confident from circumstantial evidence that bin Laden is there, they cannot prove this photographically. Meanwhile, the President’s National Security Advisor tasks the CIA with producing a plan to capture or kill bin Laden if it can be confirmed that he is in the compound. An agency team devises a plan to use two top-secret stealth helicopters (developed at Area 51) flown by the Army’s 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment to secretly enter Pakistan and insert members of DEVGRU and the CIA’s SAD/SOG to raid the compound. Before briefing President Barack Obama, the CIA Director holds a meeting of his top officials, who assess only a 60–80% chance that bin Laden, rather than another high-value target, is living in the compound. Maya, also in attendance, states the chances are 100%.The raid is approved and is executed on May 2, 2011. Although execution is complicated when one of the helicopters crashes, the SEALs gain entry and kill a number of people within the compound, among them a man on the compound’s top floor who is revealed to be bin Laden. They bring bin Laden’s body back to a U.S. base in Jalalabad, Afghanistan, where Maya visually confirms the identity of the corpse. Maya is last seen boarding a military transport to return to the U.S. and sitting in its vast interior as its only passenger. The pilot asks her where she wants to go, but she does not reply. As the plane’s hangar door closes, Maya begins to cry softly.Considering the subject matter of Zero Dark Thirty, a film that follows the CIA’s decade-long hunt for Osama Bin Laden, it’d be little surprise were Hollywood to knock the edges off a little to make it easier for a broader audience. But director Kathryn Bigelow makes no such concession. Off the back of her Oscar-winning feature The Hurt Locker, her movie is a pulls-no-punches, under-your-skin drama. As such, it’s not always the easiest film to watch, but it is an utterly compelling one.

 

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REVIEW: SHREK THE THIRD

CAST

Mike Myers (Austin Powers)
Eddie Murphy (Dr. Dolittle)
Cameron Diaz (Bad Teacher)
Antonio Banderas (Legend of Zorro)
John Cleese (Rat Race)
Julie Andrews (The Princess Diaries)
Rupert Everett (Pret-a-Porter)
Justin Timberlake (The Social Network)
Eric Idle (Not The Messiah)
Amy Poehler (Mean Girls)
Maya Rudolph (Bridesmaids)
Amy Sedaris (Strangers With Candy)
Cheri Oteri (Scary Movie)
Ian McShane (Hercules)
Mark Valley (Human Target)
Seth Rogen (Bad neighbours)
John Lithgow (3rd rock From The Sun)
John Krasinski (License To Wed)

Prince Charming vows that he will become King of Far, Far Away and avenge the death of his mother, the Fairy Godmother. Meanwhile, King Harold is dying and his ogre son-in-law Shrek and daughter Princess Fiona are to succeed him. Shrek’s attempts at trying to serve as the Regent during the King’s medical leave end in disaster, and insists that an ogre as king is a bad idea and that there must be someone else to rule the kingdom. Before dying, Harold tells Shrek of another heir: his nephew, Arthur Pendragon. Prince Charming goes to the Poison Apple tavern and persuades fairy tale villains to fight for their “happily ever after” by appealing to the defeats given in their stories.

Shrek, Donkey and Puss in Boots set out to retrieve Arthur; as they are sailing away, Fiona yells to Shrek that she is pregnant. The trio journey to Worcestershire Academy, an elite magical boarding school, where they discover Arthur or “Artie” is a scrawny 16-year-old underachiever picked on by everyone. At the school pep rally, Shrek tells Artie he is going to be king of Far Far Away. Artie is excited until Donkey and Puss inadvertently frighten him by discussing the responsibilities of being king. Artie tries taking control of the ship and crashes it on a remote island, where they meet Artie’s retired wizard teacher, Merlin.

Meanwhile, Charming and the other villains attack the castle, but Wolfie, Pinocchio, Gingy, the Three Little Pigs and the Blind Mice stall them long enough for Fiona and her mother Queen Lilian to escape along with Snow White, Rapunzel, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty and Doris the Ugly Stepsister. One of the Pigs accidentally blurts out that Shrek has gone to retrieve Arthur, and Prince Charming sends Captain Hook and his pirates to track down Shrek. The ladies are put in a tower when Rapunzel betrays them because she loves Charming.

Captain Hook and his pirates track Shrek and his friends to Merlin’s island, where they attempt to capture Shrek alive and defeat the others. Shrek and Artie defeat the villains, and Hook mentions Charming and the takeover of Far Far Away. Concerned for his wife and future child, Shrek urges Artie to return to Worcestershire. Instead, Artie cons Merlin into using his magic to send them to Far Far Away. The spell works, but causes Puss and Donkey to accidentally switch bodies. They find Pinocchio and learn that Charming plans to kill Shrek as part of a play. Charming’s men arrive, but Artie tricks the knights into not taking them into custody and they break into the castle during rehearsals for the play. Caught in Charming’s dressing room, the four are taken captive.

Charming prepares to kill Artie, believing he is the next king. To save Artie’s life, Shrek tells Charming that Artie was a pawn to take his place as King of Far Far Away. Charming believes Shrek and allows Artie to leave. Donkey and Puss are imprisoned with Fiona and the ladies, where Fiona grows frustrated with their lack of initiative. Queen Lilian smashes the stone wall of the prison by head butting the walls. While the princesses launch a rescue mission for Shrek, Donkey and Puss free Gingy, Pinocchio, the wolf and pigs, Dragon and Donkey’s children. They encounter Artie, and Puss and Donkey explain that Shrek lied to save him.

By nightfall, Charming stages a musical in front of the kingdom. Just as Charming is about to defeat Shrek, Fiona, along with Puss, Donkey, the princesses and the fairy tale characters confront the villains. Artie convinces the villains that just because they are being treated like losers does not mean that they have to be losers.

Infuriated, Charming lunges at Artie with his sword, but Shrek blocks the blow, so Charming attacks him instead. Shrek, who seems fatally injured, informs Charming that he needs to work on his aim and that the Prince needs to keep looking for his own happily ever after. As Shrek pushes him aside, Dragon knocks Rapunzel’s tower on Charming presumably killing him. Artie is then crowned king, and takes the throne. While the kingdom celebrates, Merlin restores Puss and Donkey to their proper bodies, accidentally switching their tails temporarily. Shrek returns home to the swamp with Fiona, becoming the parents of ogre triplets.

Shrek the 3rd was a great continuation of the other 2 shrek films. When I watched this film, I got exactally what I was looking for. A new adventure and a load of laughs.  The movie is great if you love humor and shrek.

REVIEW: BATMAN: THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS – PART 2

CAST (VOICES)

Peter Weller (Robocop)
Mark Valley (Human Target)
Ariel Winter (Superman/Shazam)
David Selby (Dark Shadows)
Wade Williams (Beware The Batman)
Carlos Alazraqui (Happy Feet)
Dee Bradley Baker (American Dad)
Paget Brewster (Criminal Minds)
Maria Canals-Barrera (Justice League)
Cathy Cavadini (The Powerpuff Girls)
Michael Emerson (Lost)
Michael McKean (Smallville)
Maurice LaMarche (Futurama)
Yuri Lowenthal (Legion of Super Heroes)

Feigning remorse for his past, Joker convinces Wolper to take him on a talk show to tell his story; he makes plans for his escape with an old henchman, who supplies him with mind-controlling lipstick. Meanwhile, Superman, who works as a government operative in exchange for being allowed to covertly help people, is asked by the President to end Batman’s vigilante activities. Framing these events is a growing hostility between the USA and the Soviet Union over possession of the island of Corto Maltese. As Batman’s continued presence humiliates the national authorities, Yindel becomes commissioner and orders Batman’s arrest, and Superman warns Batman that the government will not tolerate him much longer. Joker makes his talk show appearance on David Endochrine’s show as Batman fights with the GCPD on the studio roof; while they fight, Joker kills Wolper, gasses everyone in the studio to death and escapes. He finds Selina Kyle and uses one of her escorts and his lipstick to take control of a congressional representative, who calls for a nuclear strike on the Soviets before falling to his death. Batman’s investigation leads him to Selina, whom he finds bound and dressed like Wonder Woman. Kelley notices cotton candy on the floor, and Batman deduces that Joker is at the fairgrounds. There Kelley accidentally kills Joker’s henchman while Batman pursues the Joker, who indiscriminately guns down dozens of people. As Batman corners a wounded and partially blinded Joker, he admits to feeling responsible for every murder Joker has committed and intends to stop him permanently. In the ensuing fight, Joker stabs Batman repeatedly, and Batman breaks Joker’s neck in front of witnesses.
Content that he made Batman lose control and that he will be branded a murderer, the Joker finishes twisting his neck, killing himself. The GCPD arrive and Batman, bleeding profusely, fights his way to Kelley and escapes. After Superman deflects a Soviet nuclear missile, he is hit with the blast and badly injured; the detonation creates an electromagnetic pulse that wipes out all electrical equipment in the United States and causes a nuclear winter. As the city descends into chaos, Batman, Kelley and Gordon rally the Sons of Batman and the citizens of Gotham to restore order, and Yindel accepts that Batman has become too powerful to take down. While the rest of the powerless U.S. is overrun with crime, Gotham becomes the safest city in America, embarrassing the President’s administration and prompting them to send Superman to finally stop Batman. Batman and Superman agree to meet in Crime Alley.Wearing a powerful exoframe and supported by Kelley and former superhero Oliver Queen (Green Arrow), Batman fights Superman, using various tactics to make the fight even. When Superman gains the advantage, Queen hits him with an arrow made with synthetic Kryptonite, severely weakening him. Batman defeats Superman, and claims that he intentionally made the Kryptonite weak, to defeat Superman without killing him. Batman then apparently dies of a heart attack, while Wayne Manor self-destructs, and Alfred dies of a stroke. In the aftermath, the world learns that Bruce was Batman; all of his secrets are destroyed with the manor and his finances disappear. As Superman leaves Wayne’s funeral, he gives Kelley a knowing wink after hearing a faint heartbeat coming from Bruce’s coffin. In underground caves, Bruce is revealed to have faked his death and makes preparations to continue his mission more discreetly, allied with Kelley, Queen, and his followers.

A rip roaring and excellent animated movie with wonderful visuals,three stunning fights and real emotional moments especially at the end and nice to see Batman face off against both his rival and his arch nemesis.

REVIEW: THE SIEGE

CAST
Denzel Washington (Training Day)
Annette Bening (American Beauty)
Bruce Willis (Red)
Tony Shalhoub (Men In Black)
Mark Valley (Human Target)
Lance Reddick (Fringe)
Following the bombing of an American military installation in the Middle East (the film shows footage from the 1996 Khobar Towers bombing), the U.S. government orchestrates the capture of the mastermind believed to be behind the attack, Sheikh Ahmed bin Talal. In New York City FBI Special Agent Anthony Hubbard (Washington) and his Lebanese-American partner Frank Haddad (Shalhoub) are told of a hijacked bus, fully loaded with passengers and containing an explosive device. The bomb turns out to be a paint bomb and the terrorists manage to escape. The FBI receives demands to release the sheikh.
Hubbard eventually comes into conflict with CIA agent Elise Kraft (Bening). Hubbard takes a terrorist suspect into custody and arrests Kraft. Afterwards another terrorist threat is made and an MTA bus is bombed, though the children on-board are permitted to leave before the bus is destroyed. When the FBI captures a person of interest named Samir Nazhde he admits to signing the visa application of one of the suicide bombers in the course of signing many applications for student visas in his job as a lecturer. However, Kraft insists that Samir is not a terrorist and that his continued freedom is vital to the investigation.
The FBI eventually identifies and storms a safehouse belonging to terrorists who are associated with the bombings. However, days later, new terror cells launch more devastating attacks, starting with the bombing of the New Victory Theater in Times Square during an evening performance. This is followed days later by a hostage situation at an elementary school (which is resolved when Hubbard shoots the hostage taker). Shortly after this, a suicide bomber drives a van full of explosives into the lobby of One Federal Plaza, the location of the FBI’s New York City field office, resulting in over 600 fatalities.
In spite of objections, the President of the United States declares martial law and armored vehicles and elements of the U.S. Army’s 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions, under Major General William Devereaux (Willis), occupies and seals off Brooklyn in an effort to find the remaining terrorist cells. Subsequently all young males of Arab descent, including Haddad’s son Frank, Jr., are rounded up and detained in Yankee Stadium. Haddad resigns in protest. New Yorkers stage violent demonstrations against the army and the racial profiling of the Arabs and the Army fights to maintain control. There are reports of Army killings. When pressed by the White House Chief of Staff (Chip Zien) if the United States is holding the Sheikh, General Devereaux denies it.
Hubbard and Kraft, now revealed to be an agent named Sharon Bridger, continue their investigation and capture a suspect, Tariq Husseini. Using torture, Devereaux shoots and kills Husseini (off screen) in the course of the interrogation. Afterward, Bridger tells Hubbard that Husseini knew nothing of value because of the principle of compartmentalized information and, sickened, she finally tells Hubbard what she knows. It is revealed that she herself provided training and support to rebels opposed to Saddam Hussein’s regime, working with Samir to recruit and train the followers of the Sheikh. After the United States cut their funding and left them exposed, she took pity on the few of them who had not yet been slaughtered by Hussein’s forces, and arranged for them to escape to the United States, ultimately leading to the present situation as they turn their covert and bomb making skills on the country that now holds their Sheikh. She and Hubbard compel Samir to arrange a meeting with the final terrorist cell. In a discrete meeting with the White House Chief of Staff Hubbard is finally informed of the Sheikh’s apprehension, which was carried out at General Devereaux’s personal initiative. Hubbard convinces Haddad that he needs his help, and Haddad returns to the FBI.
A multi-ethnic peace march demonstrates against the occupation of Brooklyn. As the march is getting under way Hubbard and Haddad arrive at the meeting place, but Bridger and Samir have already left. Samir reveals to Bridger that he constitutes the final cell while in another sense he says, “there will never be a last cell.” He straps a bomb to his body which he intends to detonate among the marchers. Hubbard and Haddad arrive in time to stop him from leaving, but Samir shoots Bridger in the stomach as she struggles to stop him. Hubbard kills Samir, but despite their best efforts he and Haddad can only watch as Bridger succumbs to her wounds after managing to recite certain lines of the second half of The Lord’s Prayer and concluding with “Insha’Allah” – the Arabic phrase “God Willing.” Hubbard, Haddad, and other FBI agents raid Devereaux’s headquarters to arrest him for the torture and murder of Husseini, as well as his role in kidnapping the Sheikh in violation of the Logan Act. Devereaux insists that under the War Powers Resolution the authority vested in him by the president supersedes that of the court which issued the arrest warrant. He then commands his soldiers to aim their guns at the agents, resulting in a tense standoff. Hubbard reminds Devereaux that the civil liberties and human rights which he took from Husseini are what all his predecessors have fought and died for. Devereaux finally submits and is arrested. Martial law ends, and the detainees, including Haddad’s son, are freed.
Highly recommended, at least if you want more than just action and drama and enjoy thought-provoking stories.

12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS REVIEW: HUMAN TARGET: THE OTHER SIDE OF THE MALL

CAST
Mark Valley (The Siege)
Chi McBride (Pushing Daises)
Jackie Earle Haley (Watchmen)
Indira Varma (Game of Thrones)
Janet Montgomery (Black Swan)
GUEST CAST
John Michael Higgins (Bad Teacher)
Rebecca McFarland (Two and a Half Men)
Taylor Boggan (Safelight)
David Orth (The Lost World)
Marie Avgeropoulos (Cult)
This Christmas-themed episode opened with a family being driven off the road by a 4×4 and a slightly creepy man telling the driver to kill the family. Luckily, the cops show up. Back at the office the family show up asking for help, interrupting a Christmas argument. As the team takes the case, Ilsa tells Chance that she’s going to Uganda for the holiday. To protect the family, Chance starts work as a temp beside the father, Richard Applebaum (John Michael Higgins) with Guerrero working in the office as a janitor. Winston watches after Richard’s wife, Rachel (Rebecca McFarland), while Ames watches their son, Joel (Taylor Boggan), while he works at the mall.
Richard is convinced his boss, Nick Meachem (Chad Willet), is behind the attack, so when he is asked to go down to the file room, he expects the worst. Thankfully, Chance stops him attacking his boss. While this is going on, however, the men behind the attack are at Richard’s house giving Winston a little bit of trouble. Later that night, after a little coercion from Ames, Joel sneaks out to a party down the street. At this point, Guerrero finds out that the guy behind the attacks is named Klemah Severenson and he’s actually after Joel and his laptop. Severenson’s men then turn up at the party, leading to a pretty good fight once Chance has gotten there. With the novel use of a stapler, Guerrero helps Chance arrange an exchange so that Severenson can get the laptop and then leave the family alone. The exchange is to take place at the mall where Joel works. The team take their strategic posts around the meeting place, the best of which is Winston dressed as Santa. Once the meeting goes wrong, of course, a chase ensues during which Chance borrows Santa’s sleigh to catch Severenson. Back at the office, the team have a little Christmas moment before they all have to leave and Ilsa comes back. Then we get a little sentimental scene between Ilsa and Chance.
 The Christmas episode of Human Target was a very light-hearted affair with some very good action in it. The team dynamic seemed much more balanced without Ilsa being involved. Ames really seems to have fit in and the writers aren’t just using her as comic relief. A lot of the humour in this episode comes from Chance’s hatred of Christmas and how, on this job, he’s in ‘hell’.

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.