The Kill Point, a mini-series which is being
shown on Spike TV, and which will probably be rerun
quite often, has got to be hands-down one of the best
heist stories I’ve ever seen. Just when I was thinking
the genre had become predictable, up comes this topical,
riveting, heart-wrenching, and - dare I say it? -
downright patriotic thriller. And bingo, modern issues
have put new life into an old genre.
Not that there was anything so wrong with the old genre.
I like heist films and even at their stalest, they’re
better than the typical actioner out there. But lately,
they had lost a lot of their topical moorings. People
were planning super-heists merely to steal a whole bunch
of cash. Okay, but not really worthy of my spiritual
Heist films are supposed to contain topical issues and
cultural references. Remember The Public Enemy,
The Roaring Twenties, White Heat, and
Little Caesar? These were the movies that created
this genre. These established the basics of a truly
noble heist film. The bad guys are in serious need of
cash but there’s always something else. For some reason
they don’t fit in, for some reason life is overwhelming.
They are war veterans who have returned home to the
evils of civilian life. They have been rejected by
society at large. They are slightly mad. Whatever the
reason, they just don’t fit in.
Of course some of my favorite heist films aren’t
terribly angst-ridden. City of Industry, for
instance, is a perfect little gem of the 'revenge after
the heist because the untrustworthy henchman has
betrayed his brothers in crime' sub-genre. And The
Usual Suspects works because, well, it is just so
plain odd and moody... and a good surprise ending
certainly doesn’t hurt.
But the majority of heist movies had lost their
connection to the common man, the poor schlub who was
embattled and overwhelmed by life. It was fun to get
caught up in the planning, the expectations of what we
know “should” happen, the inevitable mess-up when after
initial success the short-lived criminal victory falls
apart. But with rare exceptions such as Set it Off,
there generally wasn’t much of an emotional investment.
Well, imagine my utter uncontainable joy when I saw that
John Leguizamo was in this series. This guy always plays
scrappers. Intellectual, emotional, fidgety, cool, all
in one. The guy can act. He plays Mr Wolf, and he leads
his animal-aliased crew of disgruntled former soldiers
with such passion and compassion that I actually found
myself falling in love with him. The characters are
desperate, yeah, but not sordid. And everyone knows that
in a really satisfying heist film, the viewer's
complicity in the crime becomes problematic because the
bad guys are truly not so very bad. They have no desire
to kill anyone, for instance. But as we know from other
heist films such as Dog Day Afternoon, the best
laid plans often fall apart — at the very beginning.
Add a few 2007 issues such as media hype, government
propaganda and lies, and the government’s very nasty
treatment of returning vets, and we have a situation
where the viewer – however moral she might consider
herself – simply wants to see these guys miraculously
saved from the mess they have brought upon themselves.
Yeah, it’s impossible, but one hopes. Somehow. Somehow.
The money be damned! Some deus ex machina has got to
come down from heaven and whisk these bank robbers
safely off to someplace that has no extradition treaty.
Could their helper be the computer hacking kid? Could
the contagious Stockholm Syndrome afflicting their
hostages somehow save them? Dang, even the cops (a nice
multicultural mix which includes a black female SWAT
expert - yay!) understand where these slighted patriots
are coming from! What can be done to help our guys leave
the botched bank robbery safe and sound? Yes, I “know”
that “crime doesn’t pay,” but dang, how I wish it did —
at least for these army guys, this brotherhood of
criminals who have been given a rotten deal by the
It has been said that writing is often a conversation
between the soul and the spirit. In this case, the
Christian in me knows what I "should" want: law and
order. But the Christian in me also knows that these
men, like Jesus my Lord - who was executed via capital
punishment and whose body hung between the bodies of two
thieves - are "men of sorrows acquainted with grief." A
Christian, a working class person, or a minority person
will understand (and be compassionate toward) these
rejected, outcast, desperate men who are not only each
other's brothers but also our brothers. But what can I
say? The law is powerful and relentless and our bad guys
aren't going to get a blanket forgiveness.
The Kill Point is being shown in eight hours. Try
to catch all of the episodes. Be wonderfully surprised.
Be wonderfully touched.
Saturday, July 21, 2007; Page C07
hurdles immediately stand before Spike TV's new miniseries, "The Kill
Point": The show attempts to remake "Dog Day Afternoon," and it aims to
keep a hostage crisis compelling for eight hours.
Although it's too
early to judge whether "Kill Point" will clear either bar, the first two
hours of the show (debuting tomorrow night) made available for preview
establish that the series, while not flawless, is on the right track to
being something special.
The best thing
about "Kill Point" is the typically impressive John Leguizamo, who plays
Mr. Wolf, an Iraqi war veteran who oversees four accomplices in a
botched bank robbery that quickly devolves into a hostage situation.
Leguizamo seems to be channeling Al Pacino, the star of that
aforementioned 1975 Sidney Lumet film, with a mixture of manic energy
and tenderness toward the hostages. But unlike Pacino's character, who
by movie's end wins over nearly all his victims, Leguizamo's character
is less clear with his intentions.
are wary of him -- as is the viewer. A particularly tense moment at the
end of the two-hour opener leaves us wondering where exactly Wolf is
forced to deal with some awkward dialogue, courtesy of series creator
James DeMonaco. A key scene in which we first learn about Wolf's
military background turns from dramatic -- as he addresses a crowd that
has formed outside the bank -- to cringe-inducing, as he goes on a
political rant about the current war.
Leguizamo is a less impressive but tolerable Donnie Wahlberg as the main
hostage negotiator. Wahlberg overindulges as the hard-boiled cop with no
tolerance for authority, and he even seems to relish the sometimes
cliched dialogue. "This operation is all mine now!" he bellows to an FBI
agent who blows a rescue attempt.
But a handful of
subplots and some intriguing character development should compel viewers
to stick with it. (After tomorrow, "Kill Point" will air in one-hour
episodes over the next four Sundays, concluding with the two-hour finale
Some of the more
engaging hostages include a skittish bank manager (Geoffrey Cantor)
whose unpredictability could get them all killed; an elderly gay man
(Bingo O'Malley) who makes a bold move; and a spacey woman (Jennifer
Ferrin) who suffers from a severe case of Stockholm syndrome.
Also keep an eye
on a Paris Hilton-type (Christine Evangelista) whose rich daddy (Tobin
Bell) is determined to get his daughter freed, the other hostages be
damned. "Not every life is of equal value," he tells Wahlberg's
Over eight hours,
the viewer -- not unlike the hostages -- could start to feel
claustrophobic inside the bank, where most of the action occurs. Thank
goodness we have Leguizamo to pull us through it.
The network of
battling martial artists and car shows offers a quality program with
'The Kill Point.'
By Robert Lloyd, Times Staff Writer
Spike TV is not usually where my eye lands in the search for original
quality programming — the menu that divides its website into "Shows,"
"Babes" and "Rant" (which can often involve babes) is an accurate enough
reflection of that network's concerns, the shape of its aesthetic, the
breadth of its philosophy. All the more reason, perhaps, to point out
when something good airs there, by which I mean something to interest
more than the habitués — if such a word may be reasonably applied to the
viewers of "Ultimate Fighting Championship" and "Trucks!".
The limited series "The Kill Point" — an "eight-hour event," to quote
the Spike publicity department — is not going to change the world. Not
even your own small world. It's a genre piece: "crime," subset "hostage
situation." But (to judge by the first two of those eight hours, which
air Sunday night) its occasional small failings are the shallowest
potholes in what is a fundamentally smooth track, in which unpredictable
twists and blind hairpin turns give way to straightaways made for speed.
It's the sort of thing that gives popular entertainment a good name.
Donnie Wahlberg and
John Leguizamo star, one might say, as Bruce Willis and Al Pacino.
Wahlberg, whose character has been given the pulp-fiction name of Horst
Cali, is the ace hostage negotiator whose impressive record cuts no ice
with his self-important superiors — but I think you know who's going to
be proved right when the dust settles in Hour 8. (He has also, for some
reason, been made a grammar freak, for whom a misplaced apostrophe is
like a knife in the heart.)
Leguizamo is a disgruntled Middle East wars vet who leads his old unit
in an assault on a Pittsburgh bank; something goes awry, naturally, and
the would-be robbers find themselves holed up inside with tellers and
customers and a critically wounded FBI agent.
We've seen many of these characters before, if not necessarily in one
place all together: The arrogant superior officer (Mike McGlone) whose
insistence on doing things his way (and not our hero's) has the usual
fatal consequences; the self-important zillionaire (Tobin Bell, the
villain in the "Saw" movies) trying to bend circumstances to his will;
the brave old man, the loose cannon, the bullying boss revealed as a
coward. But there is time enough here to play some variations on the old
themes, make unusual connections and build sympathy all around.
Created by James DeMonaco ("The Negotiator," "Assault on Precinct 13"),
co-written with frequent partner Todd Harthan and directed by Steve
Shill, "The Kill Point" gets down to business quickly and efficiently.
Once the initial gun smoke clears, the series shifts to a pace that, if
not exactly real time, reflects Cali's insistence that resolving a
hostage situation is a long, slow business.
There is, appropriately, a lot of talk, which especially suits Leguizamo,
who has a background in one-man shows — that space where theater
overlaps stand-up comedy. He gets an "Attica" moment early on, out in
the street (and in his underwear yet, to show his battle scars). "I want
a flak jacket for every soldier in Iraq," he declares, "and I want the
son of every senator who voted yes for this war to sign up for active
duty." Which elicits cheers and whistles from a crowd that has been let
improbably near the scene of an ongoing crime.
There are only a couple of possible outcomes in stories such as this.
(The moral order that regulates mainstream entertainment, not to say our
lives, requires that the hostage-takers will either be captured or
killed.) But you might say as much of a game of chess: Someone wins, or
nobody does — that's about it. What matters is how you get there — the
unexpected moves, the bold sacrifices, the clever misdirections, the
mutually intensifying alternations of fast action and quiet reflection.
And if the filmmakers can get you emotionally invested, even a little
bit — just to like the characters enough to care whether they live or
die, as is the case here — you can have a good old tense time watching
it all go down.
July 20, 2007 -- TAKE a little of "The Taking of
Pelham One Two Three," add a handful of "The
Nine," and top it with a huge helping of
"Dog Day Afternoon" and you've got Spike TV's
new series, "The Kill Point" - a show
that's better than it should be.
This eight-hour series centers around a bank
robbery gone very wrong (see above) and the
subsequent taking of hostages (see above again).
While the format was a disaster for "The
Nine," it may in fact be a winner for "Kill."
(For one thing, it's a limited series. I mean,
people can't be held hostage for 26 weeks after
The best thing about "The Kill Point" right
off is the stars. The casting is perfect,
especially the leads - the always magnetic
Donnie Wahlberg and the fascinatingly good John
Leguizamo, who play, respectively, a cop and a
robber both trying to find a way out of a bad
The show begins with the back-and-forth of
the scary robbers driving to the bank and the
officious (and hateful) bank manager, Mr.
Shelton (Geoffrey Cantor), who is busy
micro-managing the Three Rivers Bank in
Led by the classic anti-hero, Mr. Wolf (Leguizamo),
the robbers burst into the luxurious,
old-fashioned bank, semiautomatics at the ready,
and begin what seems like a smooth robbery.
And it is - almost. Unlike days of old
when all a bank had on its side was the teller's
alarm button, now there are cell phones.
One patron, Leroy (Ryan Sands), a criminal
defense attorney, text-messages for help and the
cops are alerted. It turns out that one of the
patrons of the bank happens to be an FBI agent
and, well, you get the picture.
Or maybe not. Like Sonny in "Dog Day," Mr.
Wolf (all the robbers have animal pseudonyms) is
a man of the people - in a skewed sort of way.
In a scene straight out of Al Pacino, he
steps outside and delivers his message - which
is that he's a wounded Iraq vet who's been
denied his pension and the antibiotics for his
injuries. Among his demands are flak jackets for
every soldier in Iraq, "even though our stupid
country doesn't think they need it." And for
every senator's son, a draft notice for active
His gang? All soldiers who served under him
and they are, despite what they seem, good guys.
And oh, yes, because this is Spike, it has
two of the longest, sustained gun battles on TV.
Within the first few moments, there's a
three-and-a-half minute, free-for-all shoot-out.
Later, there's another solid two-and-a-half
minute full-out machine gun battle.
Guns and blood enough for every Spike TV
viewer and character development enough for us
women who are stuck in the room with a man who
thinks gun battles are an intellectual exercise.
Oh, well. So much for honoring our troops. ''Mr. Wolf'' (John Leguizamo)
leads a bunch of fellow Iraq war vets into a bank robbery-turned-hostage
standoff in this eight-hour miniseries. Tonight's launch offers nicely
paced tension and lots of hints about future revelations. (You just know
that shell-shocked redhead will go all Stockholm syndrome on Leguizamo.)
True, a SWAT team probably wouldn't be quite so chatty mid-crisis. And
it's hard to tell which is more improbable about Donnie Wahlberg as a
police negotiator: his grammar fixation or his full head of hair. But
unlike last season's short-lived The Nine, at least we'll see how
this failed heist ends
In “The Kill Point,” a band of embittered Iraq
war veterans stages a bank robbery and ends up
holding hostages in a prolonged siege. But first
they saunter down a street, armed, purposeful
and in slow motion — a shot in Quentin
Tarantino’s “Reservoir Dogs” that is by now so
well known that it is usually reserved for
This eight-part series on Spike TV, which
begins on Sunday night, borrows so many images
and plot points from classic guy films,
everything from “Die Hard” to “Dog Day
Afternoon,” that “The Kill Point” is its own
inside job, a greatest-heists collection.
And yet despite all these recycled moments,
or perhaps even because of them, “The Kill
Point” is quite enjoyable, gripping and
predictable in equal parts, almost a mercifully
Originality has its place, but not
necessarily on cable. Spike TV is essentially
Lifetime for Men: a cable channel that trafficks
in all the most basic and familiar pleasures of
its target audience. In the case of Spike, which
uses the motto “Get More Action” and is home to
Bruce Lee movies, wrestling and a Web site
with a regularly updated feature called
“babe-a-lizer,” the audience is mostly male and
in no mood to watch “Sleepless in Seattle.”
Violence is to men what romance is to women;
the opening blast in a ferocious gun battle is
the equivalent of the first kiss.
So a bank heist is the oft-told tale, a
classic, the male version of the June wedding on
Lifetime. Each variation on the genre packs in
clichés with mild deviations — the caterer is
the one who catches the bouquet; one of the
hostages is in on the plot — but at story’s end,
only one thing matters: Does the star-crossed
couple make it down the aisle, and do the
robbers make it out alive?
John Leguizamo plays Wolf, a veteran of three
tours in Iraq, who leads members of his former
platoon into a new kind of battle: storm a
Pittsburgh bank and secure the perimeter.
Throughout the robbery, he uses military terms
but refers to himself as Mr. Wolf, and uses
other animal names, Cat, Rabbit, for his
accomplices, another steal from “Reservoir
Dogs,” where the robbers were known by colors,
like Mr. Green and Mr. Pink. (It’s hard to
pinpoint when a filmmaker’s homage turns into
plagiarism — maybe a term like homagerism would
When the robbery goes bloodily awry, and the
robbers retreat into the bank with more than a
dozen employees and customers, an experienced,
street-smart hostage negotiator, Horst Cali,
played by Donnie Wahlberg, moves in to run the
At first blush, it’s a little hard to watch
Mr. Wahlberg play a serious role with a straight
face. He is the brother of
Mark Wahlberg, one of the creators of HBO’s
“Entourage” and the model for the lead
character, a hot young star named Vinnie; Donnie
is often viewed as the model for Vinnie’s more
self-serious, sexually frustrated and less
successful brother, Johnny Drama. Mr. Wahlberg
isn’t helped by his first scene on camera,
complaining to the head of the S.W.A.T. team
that he can’t persuade his pregnant wife to have
sex with him.
As the stand-off unfolds, Wolf and Cali find
that they are well-matched adversaries, but, as
could be expected, Cali’s decisions are
second-guessed and sometimes overruled by a
pompous, needling, and rashly inept deputy chief
of police. When it turns out that one hostage, a
sexy, feisty young woman named Ashley, is the
daughter of a billionaire crony of the mayor,
Cali finds himself second-guessed by all the
Pittsburgh powers that be.
Cali is street-smart, but he is also a bit
eccentric, a stickler for correct grammar and
syntax who grows more doctrinaire under
pressure. When a subordinate asks: “How do you
want me to prioritize that? Is that important or
not?” Cali snarls, “There are so many things
wrong with the construction of that sentence, I
can’t even stand to look at you.”
Cali and his team slowly gather information
about Wolf’s military record, which includes a
court-martial. And that disclosure prompts Wolf
to leave the bank and challenge Cali
face-to-face, surrounded by a vast, riveted
audience of S.W.A.T. team snipers, cops,
television reporters and bystanders. He strips
down to his undershorts to reveal the scars he
acquired in Falluja and Baghdad, and delivers an
Al Pacinoesque rant. “Go ahead, shoot me,” he
says, “like they did in Falluja, man.”
When he demands a flak jacket for every
soldier in Iraq and also that “the son of every
senator who voted yes for this war sign up for
active duty,” a few police officers nod, many
bystanders applaud, and some of his former
soldiers, following the action live on
television, pack up to join the fight.
James DeMonaco, the creator of “The Kill
Point,” was also a writer of a 1998
robbery-hostage movie, “The Negotiator.” So it’s
hardly surprising that this series resembles
that film. It’s also a little like Spike Lee’s
“Inside Man” and even the short-lived ABC
serialized drama “The Nine.”
But that is perhaps the point of “The Kill
Point”: the series allows the viewer to wallow
in the familiar but always welcome world of cops
Two excellent actors, Donnie Wahlberg and John
Leguizamo, take point in Spike TV's The Kill Point (* *
*1/2 out of four, Sunday, 9 ET/PT), a promising miniseries about a
Pittsburgh bank heist that goes south in a hurry.
Leguizamo is Mr. Wolf, a troubled military man
who leads a group of ex-soldiers in what they hope is a simple
take-the-money-and-run robbery. Of course it isn't, which is where
Wahlberg comes in as a hostage negotiator with great skills and a few
odd peccadilloes, including an apostrophe obsession. And just to add to
Wolf's problems and possibilities, one of the hostages is the daughter
of a local business/political boss
There are aspects of the two-hour premiere that go awry — Wolf's big
crowd-rousing speech chief among them — and twists that hint at possible
audience roadblocks to come. (Must every such story build in a conflict
between local cops and the FBI?) Overall, though, Kill Point gets
off to a strong start with a tense outing driven along by two strong,
combative performances. It even may teach a TV lesson. As wonderful as
The Nine was and as much as we may wish it had prospered on ABC,
it may just be that hostage plots work best when there's a clear and
certain end in sight.
Spike TV’s “The Kill Point”
is so retro, it seems like any generic bank heist movie made during the
Instead of Vietnam War veterans as the bad guys,
here are embittered Iraq war veterans.
The top police negotiator, Horst Cali (Boston’s
Donnie Wahlberg), dresses almost as if he strutted out of 1978.
You can practically taste the cliches.
“Kill Point” (debuting Sunday at 9 p.m.) is also
edgy, action-packed and an adrenaline rush, a welcome relief from the
game shows drowning the airwaves on the commercial networks. Judging
from the first two hours, it’s the closest thing to “24” any network has
“Kill Point” wastes no time getting down to
business. It dispenses with character introductions as a group of masked
men led by Mr. Wolf (John Leguizamo) descend on a crowded Pittsburgh
bank and rob the vault.
There are complications.
One bank customer is able to send a text message
for help. A federal agent who happened to be inside the bank follows the
robbers with her gun drawn.
Suddenly the entire block isablaze with gunfire.
The robbers retreat to the bank lobby.
“This thing either ends with us free or dead,” Wolf
tells Horst over the phone.
Wolf and his fellow ex-soldiers operate under a
code of honor of sorts that makes them both more sympathetic and more
dangerous than run-of-the mill robbers.
Cali, meanwhile, negotiates for the freedom of the
hostages while trying to keep his know-nothing superiors at bay.
Wahlberg, one of the most underrated actors in Hollywood, stretches the
limits of the boilerplate dialogue.
Like “24,” “Kill Point” manages to mine
complications everywhere. The hostages are thinking people, not pawns,
and have a few ideas - and a gun - to help themselves.
By night’s end, Wolf has found a way to blackmail
one hostage into getting him a powerful protector on the outside. More
bad guys are on the way.
“The Kill Point” is just the thing to put the
excitement back in your summer TV.
Taut twists and turns keep
hostage drama on "Point"
Thu Jul 19, 2007 11:31PM EDT
By Barry Garron
LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Looking for
action and suspense? You can bank on this hostage drama.
Some of what's in "The Kill Point"
looks familiar, but there are enough new twists to keep this eight-hour
series feeling fresh and suspenseful. At the same time, casting John
Leguizamo and Donnie Wahlberg to play characters on opposite ends of a
botched bank robbery turns this series into a riveting game of chess,
with hostages as real-life pawns.
The setup is straightforward.
Leguizamo plays Mr. Wolf, the leader of a sextet of bank robbers with a
careful plan for a daring daytime heist. But these aren't career
criminals. They're former servicemen led by their former military
platoon commander, fed up with the raw deal he got after long and
painful years of serving his country.
When the police arrive a tad
earlier than expected, Wolf and four of his men retreat to the bank,
where a couple dozen employees and customers become hostages.
ABC introduced a series last fall,
"The Nine," about hostages who survived a bank holdup, but "Kill Point"
has more in common with Fox's "24." It doesn't flash backward or
forward. It stays in the present, pretty much in real time, as move
follows countermove and both sides try to bluff and threaten their way
Vastly outnumbered by a SWAT team,
sharpshooters, the FBI and half the cops in Pittsburgh, Wolf and his men
would be doomed if not for the hostages. Capt. Horst Cali (Wahlberg), a
wily and successful negotiator, is determined to end the situation
without making corpses of them.
A few of the hostage characters
seem to show up just about every time there's a botched bank robbery.
There's the brave old guy with a bad heart, the spunky and hot-looking
girl with the rich daddy, the panicky bank manager and, of course, the
woman in shock. On the other hand, except for Cali's wife, who isn't
seen in the two-hour premiere, there isn't a pregnant woman in the
The beauty of James DeMonaco's
script is in its subtle complexity. He makes Wolf and his crew vaguely
sympathetic but not so much that you root for them. On the other side,
Cali is caught in a bureaucratic vise, hampered by the egos of the rich
and powerful. Wahlberg and Leguizamo flex their acting muscles in nearly
every scene, and director Steve Shill finds the right angle to keep the
By WILLIAM GIBSON,
Contributing Editor Published 7/16/2007
What iF Picks: 'THE KILL POINT' HIGHLIGHTS THE
WEEK IN TV FOR JULY 16, 2007
John Leguizamo and Donnie Wahlberg bring their
talents to the small screen at least for a couple
I’ve been a fan of John
Leguizamo’s for years and love to watch
him work his magic. I am also a fan of Donnie Wahlberg going all the way back to his first
break in band (I refuse to name said band and
counter by saying I was really young and
impressionable). The two are coming together for
a mini-series about ex-U.S. soldiers who attempt
to rob a bank. Leguizamo plays the soldier to
Wahlberg’s negotiator. It’s a tense stand off
the likes of which haven’t been seen since
DOG DAY AFTERNOON.
bucks a trend.
Hostage shows have
not fared well as
The combination of
suspense seems to
wear everybody out.
Spike hopes that an
eight-hour war of
wits between John
Leguizamo and his
fellow bank robbers
(a pissed-off group
of war veterans who
came back from Iraq
to joblessness and
lousy medical care)
and Donnie Wahlberg
and his fellow
agents, and SWAT
teams) will be
different. I doubt
it. The two
two-hour pilot has
some grit, and we
are obviously going
to get the backstory
of everybody on the
floor of the bank.
strained. Would a
crowd gathered to
gape at the bloody
burst into raucous
proclamation to the
TV news cameras?
The stars of "Kill Point" know all
about cute and music and screaming
teens. Donnie Wahlberg was in New Kids
On the Block, after all; John Leguizamo
was a lovable little comedy guy.
Now they're on the opposite sides of
"Kill Point," which starts July 22 on
Spike. Leguizamo plays the mastermind of
a bank robbery gone bad; Wahlberg plays
the police negotiator trying to get
hostages out of the bank.
Both characters are beautifully
written and played, with layers that
will unfold in the next few weeks.
"Kill Point" is as good as "The
Nine," last year's terrific bank-hostage
show on ABC. There's one key difference
though: ABC wanted to have the thing go
on forever, with no planned ending;
audiences soon gave up. "Kill Point" is
on cable, which doesn't have the old
rules; it runs for eight Sundays. It's
going to be a great ride.
Actually, someone named Peggy said
that a while ago, in a reply to one of
these blogs. She was honest about it,
admitting that she works for Spike. We
shrugged it off at the time.
Now comes the happy surprise: Peggy
was telling the truth. Who knew?
"The Kill Point" gives you marvelous
John Leguizamo, Donnie Wahlberg
Posted on Jul 13,
One of the summer's biggest
surprises is "The Kill Point," an eight-hour hostage drama. The series,
which starts July 22, marks a startling advance for Spike TV.
The opening two hours establish the
battle of wills between Mr. Wolf (John Leguizamo), leader of a
bank-robbing gang, and Horst Cali (Donnie Wahlberg), the hostage
negotiator who struggles to end a crisis in a Pittsburgh bank.
"The Kill Point" has such a
powerful twist that you probably don't want to read a lot about it.
But I want to alert you to its
And if you don't want to know more
-- STOP READING NOW.
It's one of those stories that play
better when you plunge into it without a lot of information. The drama
slowly reveals the past of the robbers.
AND I'M GOING TO SHARE THAT POINT.
"It's primarily a suspense thriller
with political undertones, but it plays in a big way that they're
soldiers that are very capable, therefore are very formidable," series
creator James DeMonaco said.
Leguizamo relished that
storytelling. "That was the great thing about it was that it was a slow
reveal of character," the actor said. "And the audience were being taken
slowly through it. You had to wait it out."
DeMonaco said he was inspired by
the movies "Dog Day Afternoon" and "The Taking of Pelham One Two Three."
"I think as a child I was obsessed with both of those films," he said.
As "The Kill Point" unfolds, Mr.
Wolf becomes a folk hero. But DeMonaco stressed that the series also
reveals the character's duplicitous and self-serving sides.
Wahlberg's character is fixated
with proper grammar and constantly corrects colleagues.
"My character doesn't like when
people speak improper English, but he doesn't always speak proper
English himself," Wahlberg said. "It's a way for him to vent. It's a way
for him to pick apart things because he can't necessarily pick apart Mr.
Wolf. He has to be patient with him."
You won't want to pick apart "The
Kill Point." Just mark your calendar and watch. It offers solid drama.
Spike TV’s new original scripted series, The Kill
Point, stars actors John Leguizamo and Donnie
Wahlberg on opposing sides of the law. The eight-hour
series, which premiered on Spike TV on Sunday, July 22
from 9 to 11 p.m. ET/PT, was created by James DeMonaco (Assault
on Precinct 13 and The Negotiator) and is
directed by Steve Shill (Showtime’s The Tudors).
The plot of Kill Point centers around a bank
heist gone wrong and the hostage negotiations that
inevitably ensue. Leguizamo, who is clearly leading the
robbers and is referred to as “Sergeant”, is accompanied
by a crew of men with the nicknames “Cat,” “Mouse,”
“Pig,” and “Rabbit.”
When Sergeant makes a public statement, on camera and in
front of the gathering crowd outside the bank, detailing
his demands, it becomes clear that this is no ordinary
bank robbery, and this is no ordinary group of robbers.
They are in fact American Iraq War veterans.
While the subject matter is heavy, dealing with post-war
veterans, politics, and societal views on war/veterans,
there are moments of humor woven throughout the show,
such as when two co-workers decide to have sex in a
closet in the bank and end up hiding in said closet
during the robbery (the robbers don’t know they’re in
the closet), and then as time passes and nature calls,
the woman doesn’t want to pee in front of the guy she
just had sex with. Because I guess peeing is too
Leguizamo’s previous credits include TV’s Miami Vice,
ER, and My Name is Earl, and the films
Carlito’s Way, To Wong Foo Thanks for Everything,
Julie Newmar, Summer of Sam, Moulin Rouge!,
Assault on Precinct 13, and Land of the Dead.
He also won an Emmy, in the category of outstanding
performance in a variety or musical program, in 1999 for
Freak, his semi-falsified, one-man stand-up
Donnie Wahlberg’s previous credits include the films
Ransom, The Sixth Sense, and more recently
horror films Saw 2 and Saw 3, as well as
the TV mini-series Band of Brothers and TV’s
The Kill Point takes place in Pittsburgh,
Pennsylvania, and infuses quintessential cops and
robbers with a political morality play. Part Robin Hood,
part Joan of Arc, The Kill Point is an updated
take on an old story. The twist here is deciding who to
root for, because as of hour two, my sympathies lie with
Great acting, particularly on the part of Leguizamo, is
sure to make The Kill Point one popular summer
series. I already can’t wait to see what happens next.