Blu-ray and DVD Reviews

Human Target: The Complete First Season (Blu-ray)

Reviewed by: Scott Chitwood
Movie Rating:
7 out of 10
Extras Rating:
7 out of 10
Movie Details:
View here

Buy this DVD at Amazon.com

Rating: Not Rated

Starring:
Mark Valley as Christopher Chance
Chi McBride as Winston
Jackie Earle Haley as Guerrero

Special Features:
Confidential Informant: From Page To Screen
Full Contact Television: On-Screen Action
Unaired Scenes
Pilot Commentary
Audio Mix Enhanced From Broadcast

Other Info:
Widescreen (1.78:1)
Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound
French and Spanish Subtitles
Running Time: 528 Minutes

The Details:
The following is the official description of the series:

"Are you in extreme danger? Need special security? Is there a bullet out there with your name on it? Leave it to Chance. Mark Valley is protector-for-hire Christopher Chance in the thrill-packed 12-Episode Season 1 based on the DC Comics series and graphic novel. From piloting a distressed, upside-down jumbo jet to bodyguarding a D.A. targeted by a gang, Chance puts his life on the line - and each new adventure reveals a little about the mysterious past that drew him to this line of work. Chi McBride as ops manager Winston and Jackie Earle Haley as techno genius/fixer Guerrero are Chance's ace support crew."

"Human Target: The Complete First Season" is not rated.

Mini-Review:
Though I've been a comic collector for over 25 years, I'd never read "Human Target" before. Despite that, any TV show based on a comic is OK in my book so I made it a point to check out "Human Target" on Blu-ray. The comic was created by Len Wein and Carmine Infantino. Wein created a couple of characters you might have heard of before - Wolverine and Swamp Thing. But "Human Target" has little to do with those comic book heroes. It's more of a cross between your favorite bodyguard shows and favorite spy shows. It has the mystery and bodyguard themes of "The Rockford Files" and "The A-Team" and the spy themes of "Mission: Impossible" and "Alias." So if any of those shows are favorites of yours, then "Human Target" is something you'll be interested in.

This series has a couple of big strengths. The first is the cast. It is led by Mark Valley as Christopher Chance. He handles the mix of drama, humor, and action well. He portrays Chance as a man trying to redeem himself from a tortured past. But it's not all gloom and doom. He's as comfortable delivering jokes as he is shooting bullets. It does border on overbearing at times, but he's still an intriguing leading man. He's supported by Chi McBride as Winston. McBride is the same as he is in most of his roles - competent with a humorously weary perspective on everything. But the highlight for me is Jackie Earle Haley as Guerrero. Anybody that loved him in "Watchmen" will like seeing him here. He's creepy and has a dark past, yet he's someone you're glad to have on your side. It's amazing how much intimidation he can deliver with a simple line of dialogue. The show also has a lot of great guest stars. Look for Danny Glover, Tricia Helfer ("Battlestar Galactica"), Amy Acker ("Dollhouse"), and others.

The other strength of "Human Target" is the action scenes. They're big, over the top, and much more elaborate than you see on a lot of TV shows. The hand-to-hand combat scenes are also creative in their setup and execution. The end result is an entertaining treat for action fans.

On the down side, the show does throw realism out the door on occasion. There are outrageous situations that Chance and his client are put into. There are improbable physics. There are unlikely scenarios that play out with the police, computers, etc. The creators seem to chalk it up to "comic book rules," but if you're someone that likes realism in TV then this show will drive you nuts.

I'd ultimately recommend "Human Target" to people that like big, theatrical, occasionally over-the-top shows like "Chuck" and "Alias." I'd also recommend it to anyone that was a fan of the original comic series. You'll most enjoy this series and forgive its weaknesses.

On the Blu-ray you'll find a minimal number of bonus features. There's a commentary with the pilot, a few deleted scenes, and two featurettes. One called "Confidential Informant" talks about the philosophy behind the series, the adaptation of the comic, and the characters. It includes the cast and crew as well as Len Wein himself. "Full Contact Television" discusses the elaborate action scenes from each episode.

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