REVIEW: THE ORDER – SEASON 2

The Order (2019)

Starring

Jake Manley (Heroes Reborn)
Sarah Grey (Power Rangers)
Max Martini (The Town)
Matt Frewer (Watchmen)
Louriza Tronco (Make It Pop)
Adam DiMarco (The Magicians)
Thomas Elms (Spiral)
Matty Finochio (Chilling Adventures of Sabrina)
Devery Jacobs (Cardinal)
Katharine Isabelle (Hannibal)
Françoise Yip (Aliens vs Predator 2)
Ian Tracey (Bates Motel)
Sam Trammell (The Fault In Our Stars)
Diana Bang (The Interview)
Jedidiah Goodacre (The Originals)

the-order-season-2-episode-2-free-radicals-jack-hamish-lilith-randall-knights-netflix

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Kayla Heller (Snowcoming)
Grace Dove (How It Ends)
Francesca Bianchi (Drive Hard)
Madison Smith (Cult)
Alison Chang (Gal Pals)
Jodelle Ferland (Silent Hill)
Sasha Roiz (Caprica)
James Marsters (Buffy: TVS)
Ian Ziering (Swamp Thing)
Jason Priestley (Tru Calling)

the_order_season_2The Order is one of those shows on Netflix that tends to escape notice due to scant publicity and an inability for word-of-mouth to adequately explain how good it is without sounding ridiculous talking about werewolves and secret magical organizations on a college campus. Fortunately, season 2 pivots away from its revenge plot for male protagonist Jack Morton and focuses on one of the most surprising successes of the first season: the Knights of St. Christopher. Despite the fact that the werewolves spent a few episodes regaining their memories and feeling sore about it, their eventual place as the Order’s enforcers was a central role they very much deserved. At first it seemed like the acolyte handlers manipulating Jack, Randall, Hamish, and Lilith were misguided but harmless. Most fans didn’t love the memory wipe of the season one finale in the first place, but as a delay tactic for allowing Alyssa to believably persuade Grand Magus Vera Stone to induct the Knights, it was pretty solid. The Order often takes jarring narrative leaps that don’t always make sense at first, which can be to its detriment, but in this case, the difficulties with the rogue practitioner and the initial decision to rob the reliquary seem like a logical progression in retrospect.AAAABZNM1C_NroSZ-8C0XBb1MvqOxXOR6sHWATY8en9LEVQCilXTjhLaN8a72nQI8Hm7Xi16bT8i9glkxMKcGtsakBi_gen9_BqAH3BOUb4dMcdNIxiKBut even with later clarification, some plot threads in The Order season 2 seem painfully convenient for a disturbing amount of time. For example, the fact that a demon stole the Order’s artifacts for the Knights and then stole them again along with the treasures of the Sons of Prometheus right afterwards for someone else felt like an implausible coincidence until Salvador’s off-the-cuff remark about the predictive powers of necromancy. Given that the season, like last year, is broken up into two part mini-adventures (the werewolf revenge, the rogue practitioner, the emperor demon, the Sons of Prometheus, and so on), the fact that Praxis eventually is revealed to be the common thread linking them all adds clarity but doesn’t completely erase the disjointed experience along the way.i-7That being said, there’s a lot to love about this second season of The Order. Of particular interest are the addition of demons to the supernatural lineup. Dark Matter fans could be forgiven for not recognizing the thief demon played with gleeful mischief by Jodelle Ferland, but she sported a distinctive eye sigil carved directly into her flesh that became the wickedly cool distinguishing characteristic of her kind. It was seen again with Rogwan the fear demon and in the climactic moment when Lilith returned from the hell dimension. Lilith’s absence elsewhere in the season was difficult to bear, but the setup for drama in the future was infinitely better than last season’s finale, especially with details like the fresh look of her new facial markings.The-Order-season-2-Netflix-episodes-2523646The mention of other magical organizations of which the Sons of Prometheus was just one was also appreciated. We hear of eight chapters worldwide with “Adeptae” field agents, and the idea that they could have such different ideologies and methods like those displayed by the naturalist, potion-brewing hive mind of the Prometheans is quite intriguing and well illustrated by the Egregore storyline. This was an important factor considering the Hermetic Order of the Blue Rose was missing much of its season one strength with Vera doing all the heavy lifting and little for others to do besides clean up after Respondio rituals. Even Kepler had to carry the full menace of the Council, a group that was so much more intimidating in season one.unnamedAnother aspect that was less prominent here in season 2 was Alyssa and Jack’s relationship, although in this case, the blunting of that sharp edge only made their brief moments of reunion that much more powerful. Alyssa’s broken magic was a mystery that unfolded in brilliantly unexpected ways, especially when The Order tricked us into thinking her love of Jack was to blame — how boring would that have been? Instead, Alyssa’s evolution from someone desperate enough to welcome a hive mind to the person in charge of a loose collection of free-thinkers is as magnificent as it is ironic.the-order-alyssa-and-vera-1024x682Of course, she’s only in charge because Salvador, the brilliantly conceived hidden leader of Praxis, was supposedly killed by Vera, but anyone who believes that she’s actually dead should remember that, among other factors, she was the champion of Alpha, the mysterious hide mentioned in the first season of The Order. Praxis’ magical “tourists” are somewhat reminiscent of The Magicians’ hedge witches, but they are distinguished by the threat posed by the Tartarus explosions and the added push to eliminate the need for sacrifice with the “forisfactorum,” and the setup for a third season and the possibilities for broader storytelling are very exciting.5-1-3The werewolves were a bit all over the place this season, but fortunately, Randall provided the unrelenting skepticism that the audience was likely feeling all season long having to watch their beloved Knights kowtow to the Order. Jack is always playing the long game working for change from within, and Lilith at least had the burgeoning relationship with Nicole to explain her acquiescence, but Hamish’s infatuation with Vera, while admittedly quite charming at times, felt like too big a compromise. The struggle between Midnight and Silverback was as compelling as always, however, and credit must be given for The Order’s continuing ability to make Midnight’s new champion, Gabrielle, simultaneously obnoxious and sympathetic at the same time.5-1-3The overall impression created by the full run of The Order season 2 is one of increased stakes and the welcome focus on the Knights of St. Christopher, and while some fans may be hurting over the impact Alyssa’s rebellion has had and will have on her relationship with Jack, it’s exactly these sorts of consequences that make a series worth watching. Whether viewers applaud the series for avoiding the “bury your gays” trope by sacrificing Kepler instead of Nicole or for indulging in humorous guest appearances from celebrities playing themselves, the end result is the same: they’re appreciating the unique aspects of this most unusual show.

 

REVIEW: SUPERMAN: RED SON

 

Starring

Jason Isaacs Star Trek: Discovery)
Amy Acker (The Gifted)
Diedrich Bader (American Housewife)
Vanessa Marshall (The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes)
Phil Morris (Smallville)
Paul Williams Baby Driver)
Phil LaMarr (Futurama)
Jim Meskimen (Apollo 13)
Sasha Roiz (Caprica)
William Salyers (Batman vs. Two-Face)
Roger Craig Smith (Batman Ninja)
Jason Spisak (Avengers Assemble)
Tara Strong (Batman: The Killing Joke)
Travis Willingham (Super HeroSquad)
Winter Ave Zoli (Sons of Anarchy)

Jason Isaacs in Superman: Red Son (2020)In the Soviet Union during the year 1946, a young boy is chased by a gang of bullies. A young girl, Svetlana, defends the boy and chases the bullies away. He reveals to her that he was not scared for his own safety but that of the bullies, and demonstrates superhuman strength and the ability to fly. Svetlana tells the boy he can use his powers to help the country.Jason Isaacs and Vanessa Marshall in Superman: Red Son (2020)Decades after, the Soviet Union releases propaganda film of an alien superhuman being under the command of Joseph Stalin whom the American media dubs “The Soviet Superman”. United States President Eisenhower tasks Lex Luthor to develop a countermeasure against the superhuman. Meanwhile, Superman prevents a satellite from crashing into Metropolis, which leads to Lex’s wife Lois Luthor securing an interview with him. She shows him a top secret document that leads Superman to a secret gulag where he finds a dying Svetlana, imprisoned there because she knew his real identity. Enraged, Superman confronts Stalin about the gulag and destroys him with heat vision for his cold ways. Superman becomes leader of the Soviet Union, pledging to use his powers for good and to spread the influence of the Soviet state.Jason Isaacs and Winter Ave Zoli in Superman: Red Son (2020)Superman uses his powers and influence to stop conflict and bring nations to the Soviet side, and forges an alliance with Wonder Woman and Themyscira. Luthor unveils a clone of Superman dubbed “Superior Man”, made from harvesting Superman’s cells from the crashed satellite and remotely powered with an orb of energy, and sends it out to confront Superman. The two superhumans battle until Luthor overloads the clone with too much energy, causing it to swell up and degenerate as the fight progresses until it finally collapses and dissolves. Superman is appalled and sickened by Luthor’s actions.Jason Isaacs and Vanessa Marshall in Superman: Red Son (2020)Superman stops an invasion by alien cyborg Brainiac but he is unable to prevent the city of Stalingrad from being shrunken; he reprograms the cyborg into becoming his adviser. He is also forced to deal with the terrorist Batman, a survivor of the secret gulag who blames Superman for his family’s death. Batman kidnaps Wonder Woman and binds her with the Lasso of Truth and leads Superman into a trap where lamps simulating Krypton’s red sun neutralize his powers, having been created by Lex. Batman beats Superman up and prepares to leave him to die in a basement until Wonder Woman breaks free of the lasso and destroys the power source for the lamps, restoring Superman’s powers but severely injuring her. Batman chooses to kill himself than let Superman lobotomize him and turn him into a mindless slave. A wounded and suddenly aged Wonder Woman leaves Superman, upset by the brutality of both sides of this conflict.In the United States, Luthor becomes President and ushers in a new age of prosperity, threatening Soviet dominance. Finding Abin Sur’s crashed spaceship and body, he tasks Colonel Hal Jordan with uncovering the immense power of the green ring found on the alien’s body, leading to the formation of the Green Lantern Corps. Jordan leads an attack against Superman, which is briefly halted by Wonder Woman, who tries one last time to end the conflict before announcing that Themyscira will be closed to all men forever. With Brainiac’s encouragement, Superman sets out to confront Luthor, only to find Lois with the bottled city of Stalingrad at the White House. Superman tells her that for years he has tried to reverse the miniaturization of the city but has failed, but Brainiac reveals that the technology has always been available to him but he had chosen not to use it. Realising the error of his ways, Superman stands down but an enraged Brainiac spitefully destroys it and pushes on with the attack, revealing that the reprogramming failed and how he was using Superman so he could conquer the world himself. Superman and Luthor battle Brainiac and destroy him, but his ship is set to self-destruct upon his defeat; Superman flies it out into deep space, apparently dying in the explosion.At a ceremony in front of the Capitol Building, a disguised Superman watches from the crowd as Luthor announces his resignation from his Presidency in order to spend more time with Lois, handing over the country to Vice-President James Olsen.The DC animated line-up has been impressive and Red Son had a lot of hype to live up to. I’m happy to say this was impressive and allows the filmmakers to push the boundaries, as opposed to the core series. It’s not a completely faithful adaptation, but it is worthy and a lot of fun. Lots of twists for fans unaware of the comic book storyline.

REVIEW: TERMINATOR: THE SARAH CONNOR CHRONICLES – SEASON 1

Starring

Lena Headey (Game of Thrones)
Thomas Dekker (The Secret Circle)
Summer Glau (Firefly)
Richard T. Jones (Santa Clarita Diet)

Thomas Dekker and Lena Headey in Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles (2008)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Owain Yeoman (Supergirl)
Sonya Walger (Lost)
Nick Wechsler (Roswell)
Charlayne Woodard (Glass)
Dean Winters (Rough Night)
Tony Amendola (Annabelle: Creation)
Sasha Roiz (Caprica)
Omid Abtahi (The Mandalorian)
Aldo Gonzalez (Anger Management)
Jonathan Sadowski (Cherbnoyble Diaries)
Sabrina Perez (Rebel)
Brendan Hines (Lie To Me)
Jesse Garcia (The Green Ghost)
Adam Godley (Breaking Bad)
Bernard White (Kidding)
Catherine Dent (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.)
Alessandra Torresani (The Big Bang Theory)
Floriana Lima (Supergirl)
Tiya Sircar (The Good Place)
Brian Bloom (The A-Team)
Andy Umberger (Deja Vu)
Lee Thompson Young (Smallville)
Garret Dillahunt (12 Years a Slave)
Kristina Apgar (90210)
Neil Hopkins (The Net 2.0)
Brian Austin Green (Anger Management)
Jonathan Jackson (Nashville)
Ally Maki (Cloak & Dagger)
Peter Mensah (Spartacus)
Bruce Davison (X-Men)
Andre Royo (The Collection)
Mackenzie Brooke Smith (Supergirl)
Karina Logue (Scream: The Series)
Craig Fairbrass (Cliffhanger)
Skyler Gisondo (The Amazing Spider-Man)
Ryan Kelley (Teen Wolf)
Luis Chávez (Ocean’s Thirteen)
James Urbaniak (Suicide Squad: Hell To Pay)

Summer Glau in Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles (2008)When I heard that a TV series based on the Terminator franchise was in the works, I didn’t holding out much hope that it would be very good. Don’t get me wrong, I like the franchise. I was blown away by Terminator when I saw it during the original theatrical release and was astounded that the second film was as good, if not better, than the original. The third film was wretched however, and I just couldn’t see how they could work a TV series around the premise without it getting silly. After a bumpy first episode however, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles surprised me. It turned out to be an intelligent yet fun look at the Terminator universe that works quite well.Summer Glau in Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles (2008)Starting a while after the events that took place in Terminator 2, Sarah (Lena Headey) and her son John Connor (Thomas Dekker), the boy who will end up being mankind’s only hope in the future have still not settled down. After running for years and years Sarah doesn’t know how to stop. When her current boyfriend proposes she takes John and runs away, one more time.Lena Headey in Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles (2008)John ends up in yet another new school where he meets Cameron (Summer Glau) a cute girl who seems to genuinely like him. It turns out that she doesn’t have the hots for him so much as that she’s been programmed to protect him. Yes, she’s a Terminator sent from the future, and where there’s a good Terminator, there’s a bad version too, sent to kill John. With Cameron’s help John escapes from a substitute teacher/Terminator but he’s one the run once more.Luis Chávez and Summer Glau in Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles (2008)Cameron has a unique idea to get away from the Terminator that’s been assigned to John once and for all: They rob a bank. Inside a series of safety deposit boxes are the ingredients for a time machine. In Cameron’s time, a group of resistance scientists were sent in the past to fabricate a time travel device and hide it in the bank for just such an escape. The small group of Sarah, John, and Cameron lock themselves inside the vault while the robot from the future creates the device and a T-800 Terminator tries to break in. They manage to leap to the year 2007 just at the last moment, but unbeknownst to them the head of the Terminator travels with them.Thomas Dekker, Lena Headey, and Summer Glau in Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles (2008)Neatly bypassing the events of T-3, the series jumps to the present time where Sarah is still alive and John isn’t a drug addict but the war with the robots still impending. Of course there are still dangers. The head that came into the present with them goes about trying to refashion a body for itself. There’s also a group of fighters sent into the past to aide John and Cameron, but when they are located, it’s too late; all but one of their number has been slaughtered by a Terminator.Summer Glau in Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles (2008)With several interesting subplots that carry through the season, included finding the maker of a chess computer that may have started the great war and staying one step ahead of an FBI agent who has been chasing the Connors for years, this show packs a lot of excitement into the nine episodes (the season was cut short by the writer’s strike.) It definitely gets better as it goes along too. The writers become more familiar with the characters and the writing gets tighter and the show more enjoyable.The acting is very good across the board. Lena Headey isn’t a Linda Hamilton look-alike but she manages to capture the strengths of the character as Hamilton did and still make it her own. Over the course of the series she manages to show Sarah’s vulnerable side, something that surely exists but rarely peaked out in the movies. Though Sarah’s name is in the title, the show would have crumbled without a good actor playing John, and Thomas Dekker manages to pull off the difficult role. He has to be strong and independent, but not fool-hardy. Dekker gives John those traits, while still making him act like a teenager with an over protective mother. Some of the best scenes are where John is trying to deal with his mother, something that every teenager has problems with.Thomas Dekker in Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles (2008)Summer Glau will be instantly recognized from Firefly. I loved her in that show, but was a bit disappointed that she basically plays the same role in this series. She has the same “not sure what’s going on” look as River did, and I was hoping to see her play a different role here. Even if it is the same character essentially, Summer pulls it off well. Though not at all Summer’s fault, the writers did put the “small waif-like girl kicks the big burly man’s ass” scene in the series a bit too often. Yeah, it’s funny, but after a while it becomes trite.Lena Headey in Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles (2008)I wasn’t expecting much from this show. After all, how could you make a weekly series that could compete with the first two movies? The creators managed to pull it off and made a show with some intelligent plots and interesting stories. There are a few surprises along the way that add a lot to the show, and make this a must-buy for fans of the Terminator franchise.

REVIEW: CAPRICA – PART 2

 

Starring

Eric Stoltz (The Butterfly Effect)
Esai Morales (Titans)
Paula Malcomson (The Hunger Games)
Alessandra Torresani (The Big Bang Theory)
Magda Apanowicz (You)
Sasha Roiz (Grimm)
Brian Markinson (Sanctuary)
Polly Walker (Pennyworth)

Caprica (2009)

Recurring / Notable Guest Cast

Kendall Cross (X-Men 2)
Peter Wingfield (Highlander: The Series)
Andrew Airlie (Fifty Shades of Grey)
Hiro Kanagawa (Izombie)
Panou (Flash Gordon)
Zak Santiago (Shooter)
Bridget Hoffman (Darkman)
Scott Porter (Speed Racer)
John Pyper-Ferguson (The Last Ship)
Anita Torrance (Smallville)
Genevieve Buechner (The Final Cut)
Ben Cotton (Stargate: Atlantis)
Teryl Rothery (Stargate SG.1)
James Marsters (Buffy: TVS)
Patton Oswalt (Veronica Mars)
Ryan Kennedy (Smallville)
Christopher Heyerdahl (Van Helsing)
Calum Worthy (American Vandal)
Tom McBeath (Stargate SG.1)
Aleks Paunovic (Van Helsing)
Elisabeth Rosen (Cult of Chucky)
Sina Najafi (Stargate SG.1)
Carmen Moore (Flash Gordon)
Mike Dopud (Arrow)

Esai Morales in Caprica (2009)Nothing would’ve made me happier than to deem Syfy’s decision to cancel Caprica a grave and unwarranted one, but that’s something which simply can’t happen. Bear with me now, because there’s a reason for saying this. As a defender of the series when it was on the brink of cancellation, there’s no joy in stating that it’s easy to see why Ron Moore and David Eick’s offshoot from Battlestar Galactica received the axe when it did. Though far from faultless, the first half of the series established a fine foundation for a world rife for exploration: the mechanics of a society that would ultimately create a sentient lifeform, robots which would rebel and eventually annihilate most of the human race. But concept’s only part of the journey, and Caprica saw tonal and storytelling issues that shaped it into a rough, erratic exploration of those ideas, reaching an especially stagnant point at the beginning of this second half. It’s a shame, then, that the writers and producers finally discover their rhythm in the last five-and-a-half episodes, as it truly becomes the series I had hoped it’d become.Paula Malcomson in Caprica (2009)The story revolves around the polytheistic, technologically-advanced colony of Caprica roughly sixty years before “the downfall”, focusing on the conflict between, and within, two families: The Graystones, and the Adamas. Lawyer Joseph Adams (Esai Morales) lives a somewhat normal life with his wife and two children, Tamara and Billy, attempting to juggle his high-profile stature in the legal realm with his domestic life. He fights a bit with keeping himself as distanced as he can from his unsavory lineage, the Tauron mob Ha’la’tha, though it’s hard since the organization funded his education and requires his services regularly — usually by messages delivered through his brother, Sam (Sasha Roiz). BSG devotees with get a jolt in seeing the blossoming of young “Billy” in this environment early on, watching the growth of the semi-troubled youth that’d transform into the disquieting, powerful Galactica commander Bill Adama.Magda Apanowicz in Caprica (2009)Caprica’s central draw, however, is the Graystones. Daniel Graystone (Eric Stoltz) heads a tech development firm working on a mechanized super-soldier that’s just not cutting the mustard, all the while generating profit (60% of net, to be exact) with virtual reality headsets — holobands — that connect to a network of fully-interactive, realistic digital worlds. Graystone’s seemingly safe digital construct quickly broke down into a laissez-faire underground, filled with hacked sections that exploit sex, drug-use, and violence. Daniel’s daughter, a silver-tongued high-school student named Zoe (Alessandra Torresani) who battles with her mother Amanda (Paula Malcomson) over authority, frequents the holoband V-Club with boyfriend Ben (Avan Jogia) and timid best friend Lacy (Magda Apanowicz), yet they’re beyond the carnal satisfaction that the place has to offer. Instead, they’ve found purpose in monotheistic religious belief within an activist organization, the Soldiers of The One (STO), and, in the process, created an exact digital copy of Zoe who will somehow aid the resistance.Eric Stoltz and Paula Malcomson in Caprica (2009)Caprica utilized a cliffhanger episode at the end of the first half of the season, one that leaves the mortality of several characters up in the air. It’s uncertain whether the depression-driven grief that Amanda’s been going through truly led her to suicide; similarly, we’re unsure if the full-throttle abrasiveness that Zoe was enacting inside the U-87 Cylon body destroyed her at the end. Then, Syfy opted to go on a very lengthy mid-season break (read: they shelved the episodes), leaving curious minds in the dark for roughly seven months and, effectively, knocking the wind out of Caprica. Already, the series wasn’t on the strongest of legs; as mentioned before, it establishes a fine world that explores the emotions coursing through decisions to either reject or embrace digital memories of loved ones, while also giving some deep-rooted glimpses into the underpinnings of Moore and Eick’s Emmy-winning Battlestar Galactica. Yet it wasn’t all gelling together as of yet, only improving as the series went along but ultimately lacking the joie du vivre that pumped its inspiration forward.Eric Stoltz in Caprica (2009)Therefore, when Caprica’s second half starts off sluggish and overbearingly dour, it’s almost like a death toll. Let’s be perfectly honest here: the first three installments following a seven-month hiatus end up being misfired glut, something the series couldn’t withstand at that point. Starting with a jump-forward in time that echoes the end of Battlestar Galactica’s second season, it throws the story in a pit of depression, despair, and cutthroat politics surrounding Daniel that bloats beyond its boundaries. When the Ha’la’tha use killing one’s mother — someone unassociated with the crime syndicate — as a sign of loyalty, when the STO enact murderous power moves over their religious heads, or when Zoe’s avatar is bludgeoned to near-death for simply looking like the STO terrorist she’s perceived to be, the tone gets molasses-level thick and fairly objectionable. It’s as if Moore and Eick are overcompensating so their audience knows they’re not pulling any punches, while the output they produce leans toward ham-handed and hard-faced discomfort — and extremely awkward in “Things We Lock Away”, a sloppily glued-together hodgepodge of poorly-orchestrated arena brawls in New Cap City and intent Lacy/STO development.Esai Morales in Caprica (2009)None of Caprica’s issues root in the performances, however, or the production design. From the ground up, Moore and Eick continue the shrewdly-cast and stylish thrust of science-fiction with a fine vein of suspense, capturing the city’s expanses with a unique blend of metropolitan polish, futuristic gris-gris, and slick ’50s-esque allure. Locations like the Graystone mansion sport angular windows and a glaring pour of cold light, while the Adama household encapsulates a warm yet dark demeanor. These fitting aesthetic touches cradle some exceptional dramatic performances, including Eric Stoltz and Esai Morales whom have come into their own as tried-and-true denizens of Caprica. The same can be said for Magda Apanowicz as Lacy, who takes the complications surrounding a semi-innocent girl lost in the world of terrorism and runs with them with stalwart momentum. Lacy’s role, which gets sloshed around in the first half of the season, begins to grow more focused as she embeds further into the STO (and learns of her affinity with post-Zoe Cylons). The faces of Caprica are what keep the series afloat, both during the well-executed and bungled stretches in the show.Still from CapricaReally, the issues hinge on a general question: “What’s the driving force behind Caprica?” At first, the series closed in on the machinations of the Cylon origins, as well as exploring monotheism vs. polytheism, the benefits and hindrances of an abandon-free V-World, and the reluctance for people to let go of those whom have died. Upon the second half of Caprica, all that’s somewhat switched out for direct drama involving the robots’ “creator”, as well as concentration on the gangster Adama network and the blossoming of the terrorist organization as idealists — which, by the way, the STO material’s fairly bland and oddly-executed during that stretch. In essence, it starts to go down a fairly generic path of aggressive human drama, leaving the intrigue behind Zoe’s presence somewhat alone for a two-hour burst. It’s pretty clear that the minds behind the show tinkered with some new (and time-weathered) ideas to try and wrangle together a new audience. And it didn’t really pan out as such.Caprica with Eric StoltzFortunately, the creative team seems to have had an inclination towards this. Starting with “False Labor”, Caprica begins to see an awakening, as if they both discover where their weaknesses lie and resurrect the spirit of Battlestar Galactica — which carries over in “Blowback”, marking the first of five episodes that Syfy shelved around the time of cancellation. In this episode, Daniel attempts to recreate Zoe’s “resurrection” software, while in the process using an avatar of Amanda as a basis for comparison. Since he knows all the mannerisms and minutiae of his wife, he’s able to determine exactly how human or inhuman she’s acting, and the content that unfolds as he dissects this digital Amanda can be both penetrating and emotionally stirring. On top of that, Lacy gets her first hearty taste of the STO’s domineering, contentious presence, while meeting other “recruits” similar to her. Moreover, it rediscovers its tonality; difficult drama remains, but the way it’s handled regains the excitement of its inspiration. In short, it gets good. Really, really good.With Syfy cancelling the show and five episodes still left to run, the big question likely will be: “Does it get a proper, strong conclusion?” Piggybacking off the regained proficiency that it rediscovers in “Blowback”, Caprica sprints through the remaining episodes as if it knows that the end’s coming, losing its abandon in a furious, gripping rush that certainly echoes to Battlestar Galactica’s aptitude in 11th-hour intensity. It hits the accelerator and really doesn’t stop until an unquestionably finite conclusion, bringing together Daniel’s hunt for Zoe’s avatar in V-World and the unsavory connections between Graystone Industries and the Tauron mob to a very fine, robust head. Moreover, the content surrounding Lacy’s presence in the STO finally reaches a meaningful point, instead of evoking the sensation that it’s a time-killing subplot like it did at first. But, much like the conclusion of Battlestar Galactica, it also ditches some sensibility in lieu of excitement, breaking some of its own rules and established character mannerisms just to find a definite close. When it all melts together, though, it’ll be worth gritting one’s teeth through a few questionable moments.Those who’ve watched Caprica and cashed in their chips owe it to themselves to check out the tense follow-through, with the knowledge that the tone’s anything but consistent. There’s only a handful of great moments scattered within; however, there are assuredly some really great moments, ones that ensnare the type of essence I’d hoped would resonate in a depiction of the pre-Cylon world. In the middle of that, along with blatant reflection on the current climate of terrorism, it also provokes thought about the extents that some might go to preserve the memories and essence of those they love, and whether the recreation of an individual would push the boundaries of their belief structure. Caprica’s an intelligent show at its core, one with a complex network of emotion buttons that simply never properly learned how and when to push them. What’s a shame is that the show reveals a few glimmers at the end that suggest it might’ve found out how, ones that likely hadn’t even been seen by those that made the decision to power down this tale of the pre-war Cylon race.

REVIEW: CAPRICA – PART 1

Starring

Eric Stoltz (The Butterfly Effect)
Esai Morales (Titans)
Paula Malcomson (The Hunger Games)
Alessandra Torresani (The Big Bang Theory)
Magda Apanowicz (You)
Sasha Roiz (Grimm)
Brian Markinson (Sanctuary)
Polly Walker (Pennyworth)Eric Stoltz and Paula Malcomson in Caprica (2009)

Recurring / Notable Guest Cast

William B. Davis (The X-FIles)
Sina Najafi (Stargate SG.1)
Hiro Kanagawa (Izombie)
Genevieve Buechner (The Final Cut)
Anna Galvin (Unspeakable)
Karen Elizabeth Austin (The Eye)
Scott Porter (Speed Racer)
Avan Jogia (Shaft)
Françoise Yip (The Predator)
Anita Torrance (Smallville)
James Pizzinato (Godzilla)
Michael Eklund (Bates Motel)
Patton Oswalt (Veronica Mars)
Kendall Cross (X-Men 2)
Peter Wingfield (Highlander: The Series)
Luciana Carro (Helix)
Teryl Rothery (Stargate SG.1)
Alex Arsenault (Tucker and Dale vs Evil)
Panou (Flash Gordon)
Eve Harlow (Bitten)
James Marsters (Buffy: TVS)
John Pyper-Ferguson (The Last Ship)
Leah Gibson (Jessica Jones)
Richard Harmon (The 100)
Patrick Sabongui (The Flash)
Jill Teed (Battlestar Galactica)
Zak Santiago (Shooter)
Ryan Robbins (Sanctuary)
Kacey Rohl (Hannibal)

 

Paula Malcomson in Caprica (2009)Creators Ronald Moore and David Eick relied on three key components for their hit SyFy series, Battlestar Galactica, to stay fresh and compelling for as long as it did: complex ideas behind evolved sentient lifeforms, religious parables, and the fondness for the characters’ home worlds — especially that of Caprica. The characters all look back at their previous lives almost as ghosts; Admiral Bill Adama painfully drudges up memories of his ex-wife and lawyer father, while Kara “Starbuck” Thrace carries memories of her small, ramshackle apartment and Samuel Anders yearns for the thrill of a sports stadium. Seems like such a rich mythos created just to be the ruminants of a past life, doesn’t it? The Moore-Eick team also sees this potential, now capitalizing on the gap left by Battlestar Galactica’s end to create the appropriately-titled Caprica. Though it moves slowly at first while constructing an involved narrative framework in its predecessor’s shadow, this mythos-rich offshoot eventually finds the footing needed to fall in-line with the original series’ current of storytelling.Patton Oswalt in Caprica (2009)The story revolves around the polytheistic, technologically-advanced colony of Caprica roughly sixty years before “the downfall”, focusing on the conflict between, and within, two families: The Graystones, and the Adamas Adams. Lawyer Joseph Adams (Esai Morales) lives a somewhat normal life with his wife and two children, Tamara and Billy, attempting to juggle his high-profile stature in the legal realm with his domestic life. He fights a bit with keeping himself as distanced as he can from his unsavory lineage, the Tauron mob Ha’la’tha, though it’s hard since the organization funded his education and requires his services regularly — usually by messages delivered through his brother, Sam (Sasha Roiz). BSG devotees with get a jolt in seeing the blossoming of young “Billy” in this environment early on, watching the growth of the semi-troubled youth that’d transform into the disquieting, powerful Galactica commander Bill Adama.Hiro Kanagawa in Caprica (2009)Caprica’s central draw, however, is the Graystones. Daniel Graystone (Eric Stoltz) heads a tech development firm working on a mechanized super-soldier that’s just not cutting the mustard, all the while generating profit (60% of net, to be exact) with virtual reality headsets — holobands — that connect to a network of fully-interactive, realistic digital worlds. Graystone’s seemingly safe digital construct quickly broke down into a laissez-faire underground, filled with hacked sections that exploit sex, drug-use, and violence. Daniel’s daughter, a silver-tongued high-school student named Zoe (Alessandra Torresani) who battles with her mother Amanda (Paula Malcomson) over authority, frequents the holoband V-Club with boyfriend Ben (Avan Jogia) and timid best friend Lacy (Magda Apanowicz), yet they’re beyond the carnal satisfaction that the place has to offer. Instead, they’ve found purpose in monotheistic religious belief within an activist organization, the Soldiers of The One (STO), and, in the process, created an exact digital copy of Zoe who will somehow aid the resistance.Alessandra Torresani in Caprica (2009)Observant fans will see where Caprica’s going with the duplicate Zoe, coming together in an introductory pilot that realizes the germ of an idea behind the genesis of the Cylon race, but it certainly doesn’t leave newcomers in the cold. Moore and Eick, with this freshness in mind, go in a startling direction with the content surrounding the Cylon conception; a murderous STO-related terrorist attack on a train rattles the city of Caprica, leaving the Graystones without their daughter and Joseph with only his son, Billy. The grief they endure becomes a convincing dramatic catalyst for what’s to come, breaking a floodgate for aggressive decision-making regarding family memories and Daniel’s technological advancement — with the idea of an exact digital replication of both mind and memory, such as the avatar of Zoe that lingers after her death, propelling it forward. It’s a thought-provoking launch that tackles some rather challenging concepts, including that of the human psyche as raw data and the extent that open-minded intellectuals might go to preserve those they’ve lost. And, of course, the narcissistic power behind potential immortality.Eric Stoltz and Esai Morales in Caprica (2009)Upon the second episode, “Rebirth”, one fact becomes very clear: Caprica isn’t cut from the same cloth as its inspiration, instead existing as a compelling new creation with its own hurdles to cross. In retrospect, the reimagined Battlestar Galactica painlessly continued the momentum from its original two-part miniseries, thrusting forward with space warfare and political components into the dazzling episode “33”. With Caprica, a shrewd character-driven thriller with complexity surrounding terrorism and family grief, the carry-over isn’t as easy. Thankfully, the Moore-Eick team never shies away, hitting the gas with some rather incisive writing as they drive deeper into Caprica’s unraveling and the Graystone company’s waning success in the wake of the terrorist attack. Along the way, they also grapple with themes of Tauron racism (“dirt eaters”) and religious extremism through the STO and one of its leaders, Zoe’s teacher Sister Clarice (Polly Walker), that correlate to actual issues, while also cleverly using the concept of a digital underground — especially in the anarchistic “New Cap City” game simulation, a mix of World of Warcraft and Grand Theft Auto — as a way of escape and purpose-finding.Esai Morales and Sasha Roiz in Caprica (2009)Yet as Caprica focuses on these modern analogous ideas while its characters develop into a mixture of morally desolate entities, the first batch of six or so episodes move at a deliberate, slow-burning tempo that shifts between intrigue and sluggishness. The harsh chemistry between Daniel and Joseph as scorned parents electrifies, driven by Eric Stoltz and Esai Morales in two stark, authentic performances, and the pacing focuses on the causal events that unfold around their family-affecting decisions. But focusing on this calculated slow-burn can, at times, temper the series’ manner and cause the multiple plot threads to stray from the course, weaving intuitive dramatic performances around a lot of existential meditation and shots of neo-religious content without the right energy to propel it forward. I still find it compelling; the depth of Daniel’s egotism reaches a genuine depth that’s unexpected, while offering a cluster of explosive moments — such as the board meeting in “There is Another Sky” that actually starts the Cylon race — spliced within the persistent, astute drama.Polly Walker and Magda Apanowicz in Caprica (2009)Then, as Caprica approaches “Ghosts in the Machine” and the mid-season finale “End of Line”, the gradual tension sees a much-needed outburst. These prior episodes extend into what’s essentially a rather lengthy fuse leading to this batch of dynamite, using brewing family turmoil and growing suspicions into an emotionally-taxing, brilliantly-realized culmination point. “Ghosts in the Machine” plays with the intensity of psychological torment in a staggering rush of emotion, while “End of Life” finds the first episode of the series to use the familiar “__ Hours Before” time mechanic frequently used in Battlestar Galactica. Quite simply, the build-up becomes worth the time at this point, igniting the series with the narrative outbreak it desperately lacked to become fully involving. Whether Caprica can maintain this momentum still remains to be seen, but the succession of these explosive developments that derive from subtly-evolving plot points — Amanda’s weakening sanity, Daniel’s obsession with meeting the development deadline, and the presence of the STO as violent radicals — satisfies with evocative, edge-of-your-seat chills at this midpoint, finally achieving that addictive science-fiction adrenaline that hallmarked its predecessor.

 

REVIEW: MUTANT X – SEASON 3

Starring

Forbes March (As the World Turns)
Victoria Pratt (Cleopatra 2525)
Victor Webster (The Scorpion King 3 & 4)
Karen Cliche (Flash Gordon)

Forbes March in Mutant X (2001)

Recurring / Notable Guest Cast

Tom McCamus (Ginger Snaps Back)
George Buza (X-Men: TAS)
Deborah Odell (Godsend)
Noah Danby (Bitten)
David Hewlett (Rise of The POTA)
Jessica Steen (Armageddon)
Peter Stebbings (Bates Motel)
John Ralston (Bitten)
Krista Bridges (Narc)
Shannon Lawson (Dick)
Sasha Roiz (Caprica)
David Orth (The Lost World)
Steve Byers (Smallville)
Jason Schombing (Sanctuary)
Lyriq Bent (Flashpoint)
John Shea (Lois & Clark)
Jeff Seymour (Bury The Lead)
Aleks Paunovic (Van Helsing)
Ellen Dubin (Mary Kills People)
Andrew Gillies (Odyssey 5)
Ted Whittall (Suicide Squad)
Monika Schnarre (Andromeda)

Mutant X (2001)I love this series and still watch it even though its canceled. Adam Kane developed the mutants, but did so only to help mankind. He was searching for to be able to manipulate DNA to help cure diseases. But in some, their genes mutated, giving them mutant abilities. You can tell throughout the episodes he feels responsible for all the problems connecting with mutants. Shalimar is a feral- who is like a cat. Adam brought her in from abuse when she was a child and helped her to cope with her abilities.Mutant X (2001)Through all the episodes, you see a father-daughter relationship with the two. Brennan- shoots electricity through his hands. He is a street wise guy who was a thief. Now turned straight, he sometimes struggles with not just “taking down” his opponents. He has a problem with not being in charge and not in all the loops, but Adam slowly helps him to start calming down. Emma-controls minds. She is soft and quiet and strives to feel needed. She feels close with people they are often after, giving another side for who they are after. Jesse-turns into brick and “phases” letting things go straight through him. He comes from a rich family and wants to prove he can fight. He is very smart when it comes to computers.Mutant X (2001)The newest edition in the end is Lexa- maipulate light. She has a dark past and a good reason for it. She has a habit of keeping the others outta the loop, but learns there is no room for that. She tends to keep people at arms length because of her past and is pretty much hated for it. But as time goes on, she learns to grow more and to trust. This series is very good, the action is great, actors are great and you can feel compassion for the characters.

REVIEW: THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW

 

 

CAST

Dennis Quaid (G.I. Joe)
Jake Gyllenhaal (Donnie Darko)
Emmy Rossum (Mystic River)
Dash Mihok (Gotham)
Jay O. Sanders (JFK)
Sela Ward (Independence Day: Resurgence0
Austin Nichols (One Tree Hill)
Arjay smith (Perception)
Tamlyn Tomita (Heroes)
Sasha Roiz (Caprica)
Ian Holm (the Hobbit)
Kenneth Welsh (The Aviator)
Amy Sloan (Gothika)
Glenn Plummer (Gifted)
Chris Britton (Locke & Key)
Vlasta Vrana (Race)
Russell Yuen (Arrival)
J.P. Manoux (Veep)

Paleoclimatologist Jack Hall and his colleagues, Frank and Jason, are drilling for ice-core samples on the Larsen Ice Shelf for NOAA when the shelf breaks apart. When Jack later presents his findings on global warming at a United Nations conference in New Delhi, he fails to convince diplomats or U.S. Vice President Raymond Becker. However, Professor Terry Rapson of the Hedland Climate Research Centre in Scotland believes in Jack’s theories. Several buoys in the North Atlantic simultaneously register a sharp drop in ocean temperature, and Rapson concludes that melting polar ice has begun to disrupt the North Atlantic Current. He contacts Jack, whose paleoclimatologic weather model demonstrates how climate changes caused the first ice age. His team, including NASA meteorologist Janet Tokada, builds a forecast model based on Jack’s findings.Around the world, violent weather causes widespread destruction; U.S. President Blake authorizes the FAA to halt air traffic due to severe turbulence. On the International Space Station, three astronauts see a storm system spanning the Northern Hemisphere which soon develops into three hurricane-like superstorms. The temperature of the eyes of the storms is −150 °F (−101 °C), instantly freezing anything in their paths. The cells, located over Canada, Scotland, and Siberia, will affect all of their respective continents within days. During this time, tornadoes destroy Los Angeles.In Manhattan, Jack’s son Sam learns about the worsening weather when he participates in an academic decathlon. Although Sam promises to be on the next train home, flooding quickly closes the subway and Grand Central Terminal as a storm surge strikes New York City. Sam and a large group of people seek shelter in the New York Public Library and his teammate, Laura Chapman, accidentally cuts her leg. In Scotland, Rapson and his colleagues at the Hedland Centre die in the European superstorm.As suggested by Jack, President Blake orders the evacuation of the southern United States (with most refugees heading for Mexico) and warns the northern half of the country to seek shelter. Jack and his team set out for Manhattan to find Sam; when their truck crashes a vehicle north of Philadelphia, the group continues on snowshoes. En route, Frank falls through the glass roof of a snow-covered shopping mall. As Jason and Jack try to pull him up, the glass under them continues cracking; Frank sacrifices himself by cutting the rope. Most of the group sheltered in the library leave (despite Sam’s warning) when the water outside freezes, leaving Sam, his friends, and a few others who trust him. They burn books to stay warm, and break into a vending machine for food. Sam admits his feelings for Laura (who has apparently caught a cold), and she reciprocates. At the U.S. refugee camp in Mexico, Becker learns that Blake died when his motorcade was enveloped by the superstorm and he is now the president.The next morning, Sam’s group determines that Laura has blood poisoning from the cut on her leg. Sam and two others search for penicillin in a derelict Russian cargo ship which drifted inland. Although they find food and supplies, they also encounter a pack of escaped wolves from a city zoo. The eye of the North American superstorm passes over the city, freezing it solid, and the three barely return to the library in time. Jack, also in the eye with an unconscious Jason, narrowly escapes the freeze himself in an abandoned restaurant.Days later, as the superstorms dissipate, Jack and Jason reach New York City and find Sam’s group alive. They radio the news to the U.S. government in exile in Mexico, and Becker orders rescue teams to search for other survivors in the northern states in his first address as president. On the ISS, astronauts look down in amazement at an Earth whose northern hemisphere is mostly covered by ice and snow.The special effects are excellent, and keep you entertained. While the script is below average and the acting is just OK. Overall its enjoyable but there just isn’t much here except good effects.

 

REVIEW: POMPEII

CAST
Kit Harrington (Game of Thrones)
Emily Browning (Sucker Punch)
Kiefer Sutherland (Phone Booth)
Carrie-Anne Moss (Jessica Jones)
Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje (Lost)
Jessica Lucas (Gotham)
Jared Harris (Lincoln)
Currie Graham (Agent Carter)
Sasha Roiz (Caprica)
Ben Lewis (Arrow)
In Britannia, 62 AD, a tribe of Celtic horsemen are brutally wiped out by Romans led by Corvus (Kiefer Sutherland). The only survivor is a boy named Milo, whose mother Corvus killed personally. The boy is captured by slave traders. Seventeen years later, a slave owner named Graecus (Joe Pingue) watches a class of gladiators battle. He is unimpressed until he sees the grown Milo (Kit Harington), a talented gladiator the crowds call “the Celt”. Milo is soon brought to Pompeii with his fellow slaves. On the road, they see a horse fall while leading a carriage carrying Cassia (Emily Browning), returning after a year in Rome, and her servant Ariadne (Jessica Lucas). Milo kills the horse to end its suffering and Cassia is drawn to him. Cassia is the daughter of the city ruler Severus (Jared Harris) and his wife Aurelia (Carrie-Anne Moss). Severus is hoping to have the new Emperor Titus invest in plans to rebuild Pompeii but Cassia warns him of Rome becoming more corrupt. A servant named Felix (Dalmar Abuzeid) takes Cassia’s horse for a ride only to be swallowed up when a quake from Mount Vesuvius opens up the ground under him.
In Pompeii, Milo soon develops a rivalry with Atticus (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje), a champion gladiator who, by Roman law, will be given his freedom after he earns one more victory. The gladiators are shown off at a party where Corvus, now a Senator, tells Severus the Emperor will not invest in his plans but he himself will. It is revealed Cassia left Rome to escape Corvus’s advances. When an earthquake causes some horses to become anxious, Milo helps calm one down. He then takes Cassia on a ride, telling her that they cannot be together. Returning to the villa, Corvus is ready to kill Milo (not recognizing him from the village massacre) but Cassia pleads for his life. Milo is lashed for his actions and Atticus admits respect for his rival as they prepare to face each other at the upcoming festival.
In the Amphitheatre of Pompeii, to punish Milo, Corvus orders him killed in the first battle and wicked trainer Bellator (Currie Graham) convinces Graecus to sacrifice Atticus as well. The two men, and other gladiators, are chained to rocks as other gladiators come out as Roman soldiers, to recreate Corvus’s victory over the Celts. Working together, Milo and Atticus survive the battle; Atticus realizes the Romans will never honor his freedom. During the battle, Corvus forces Cassia to agree to marry him by threatening to have her family killed for supposed treason against the Emperor. When Milo and Atticus win, Cassia defies Corvus by holding a “thumbs-up” for them to live and he has her taken to the villa to be locked up. Claiming an earthquake is a sign from Vulcan, Corvus has his officer Proculus (Sasha Roiz) fight Milo one-on-one. Their battle is interrupted when Mount Vesuvius erupts, creating massive tremors that causes the arena to collapse, sending Milo and Proculus crashing to the jail levels. Milo opens up the gates to allow his fellow gladiators a chance to attack; Proculus escapes while the gladiators kill Bellator. Seeing Corvus fallen under a collapsed beam, Severus tries to kill him, but Corvus stabs him and escapes.
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The eruption causes flaming debris to rain down upon the city as the populace tries to flee to the harbor. One fireball destroys a ship, killing the escaping Graecus. Aurelia tells Milo that Cassia is at the villa before dying. Milo races to the villa and manages to save Cassia, but Ariadne is killed when the villa collapses into the sea. Corvus and Proculus kill civilians blocking their path to safety. Atticus tries to reach the harbor, but a tsunami created by the volcano smashes into the city, destroying the outer walls and smashing several ships. In the ensuing chaos, Atticus saves a mother and her young daughter, the trio running safely into the inner city as a ship brought in by the tsunami blocks the water from flooding the inner walls. Reuniting with Atticus, Milo suggests searching the arena for horses to escape. As the gladiators face Roman soldiers at the arena, Cassia sees to the bodies of her parents, only to be abducted by Corvus. Atticus has Milo chase after the chariot carrying the two while he faces off against Proculus. In the following duel, Atticus is mortally wounded, but he manages to break the blade and uses it to kill Proculus.
Milo chases Corvus across the city, both barely avoiding fireballs and collapsing roads and buildings. Cassia manages to free herself before the chariot crashes into the Temple of Apollo. Milo and Corvus duel as a fireball destroys the temple. Cassia chains Corvus to a building as Milo declares that his gods are coming to punish the Senator. Milo and Cassia ride off as a pyroclastic surge races down the volcano’s slopes and into the city, incinerating Corvus. At the arena, Atticus, seeing the flow approaching, proudly meets his fate, proclaiming that he dies a free man. At the city outskirts, the horse throws off Milo and Cassia. Milo tells Cassia to leave alone, as the horse isn’t fast enough to carry them both. Instead, she sends the horse off, not wanting to spend her last moments running as she knows that they will not survive. Milo kisses Cassia as the pyroclastic surge engulfs them. The last shot is of the duo’s petrified bodies, locked in an eternal embrace.
The acting was very good and I’m very pleased with the casting choice. I also like the opening scene set in Britannia, showing the origins of the main male protagonist Milo. The story line was a bit predictable, but over all still enjoyable.

REVIEW: 16 BLOCKS

CAST
Bruce Willis (Armageddon)
Mos Def (The Italian Job)
David Morse (Proof of Life)
Jenna Stern (Hitch)
Casey Sander (The Big Bang Theory)
Cylk Cozart (Eagle Eye)
David Zayas (Gotham)
Sasha Roiz (Caprica)
Peter McRobbie (Daredevil)
Casey Sander (The Ranch)
Jack Mosley (Bruce Willis) is an alcoholic, burned-out N.Y.P.D. detective. Despite a late shift the night before, his lieutenant orders him to escort a witness, Eddie Bunker (Mos Def), from local custody to the courthouse 16 blocks away to testify on a police corruption case before a grand jury at 10 a.m. Bunker tries to be friendly with Mosley, telling him of his aspirations to move to Seattle to become a cake baker with his sister whom he has never met, but Mosley is uninterested, and stops at a liquor store. They are suddenly ambushed by a gunman, and Mosley drags Bunker to a local bar to take shelter and call for backup. Mosley’s former partner, Frank Nugent (David Morse), and several other officers arrive. Nugent and his men have ulterior motives, telling Mosley that Bunker is not worth defending as his testimony will likely out several officers, including Nugent, who are involved in the corruption scheme, and they try to frame Bunker for firing at an officer before they kill him. Mosley intervenes, rescuing Bunker and fleeing.
Mosley briefly stops at his sister Diane’s (Jenna Stern) apartment to retrieve guns and ammo, and learns the police have already approached her about his activities today. He and Bunker take steps to further elude the police, and Mosley is wounded in the process. They become cornered in a run-down apartment building as Nugent and his men search floor by floor. Mosley calls the district attorney to arrange for help, but purposely gives the wrong apartment number, suspecting there is a mole involved. Mosley and Bunker are able to escape onto a passenger bus, and as the police follow them, Mosley is forced to treat the passengers as hostages. The bus crashes into a construction site and is soon surrounded by the ESU. Aware that Nugent will likely order the ESU to raid the bus, risking the safety of the passengers, Mosley allows the passengers to go free, using their cover to allow Bunker to sneak off the bus in the confusion. Mosley finds a tape recorder in the discarded possessions on the bus, and prepares a farewell message to Diane.
To his surprise, Bunker returns to the bus; while Nugent is ready to fire on him, Nugent is made to stand down by a superior officer. Bunker has come to see Mosley as his friend and wants to be there for him to see this through. Bunker’s tenacity convinces Mosley to get to the courthouse, and he manages to drive the bus into an alley, temporarily blocking the police from following them. He finds that Bunker has been wounded, and calls Diane, a Paramedic, to bring an ambulance around to help, despite knowing she will be followed. Diane cares for Mosley and Bunker’s wounds, though Bunker still needs further treatment at a hospital. As Diane’s ambulance drives away, the police stop her but discover the ambulance is empty; she had a second ambulance pick up Mosley and Bunker that would not be under similar surveillance. Meanwhile, Mosley reveals to Bunker that should he testify, not only will Nugent be convicted but so would Mosley as one of the corrupt cops. Mosley gets off a block from the courthouse and wishes Bunker luck with his bakery. Bunker promises to send him a cake on his birthday.
Mosley continues to the courthouse, where the police and ESU are waiting for him, as well as the district attorney. Mosley enters the courthouse building through the underground garage, encountering Nugent alone, who tries unsuccessfully to dissuade him from testifying in Bunker’s place. Mosley enters the courthouse proper, where one of Nugent’s men (David Zayas) tries to shoot Mosley but is killed by one of the ESU snipers. Mosley informs the district attorney that he will testify in exchange for Bunker having his record expunged, also revealing that he had recorded the conversation with Nugent in the garage on the tape recorder, which he submits as evidence. Two years later, Mosley is freed from prison from his reduced sentence, while Nugent and others wait out longer sentences. He celebrates his birthday with Diane and other friends, and is surprised to find that the cake had indeed come from Bunker, who has been successful in starting “Eddie & Jack’s Good Sign Bakery” in Seattle.
From Lethal Weapon and The Omen director, Richard Donner, a tough and bitter crime plot with an excellent Bruce Willis playing a tired cop who fights despite everything, in a cinical and merciless world. Quite dark and enjoyable