Check your disbelief at the door and prepare to thoroughly enjoy Human Target
, a Fox TV series combining drama, humor, and action--lots
of action--and debuting on DVD with all 12 first-season episodes (plus bonus material) on three discs. At center stage in this DC Comics adaptation is Christopher Chance (Mark Valley, in a very different role from his familiar turn on Boston Legal
), an erstwhile assassin who turned from killing people to protecting them after a life-changing encounter a few years earlier (detailed in a semi-prequel that is the season's last episode). Now, joined by ex-cop Winston (Chi McBride) and wiseacre-genius-jack-of-all-trades Guerrero (Jackie Earle Haley), Chance takes on a variety of clients, partly for the money but mostly for the fun ("Will I get to ride on it?" is his response when the designer of California's first bullet train asks for his protection). Whether it's in the service of a fellow who has "the skeleton key to the Internet" (which could spell "the end of information security as we know it" if it falls into the wrong hands), a district attorney with a tracking device planted in her body by the criminal gang that wants to kill her, or even the Princess of Wales (whose affair with a commoner has made her the target of an assassination plot hatched by evil dudes in the palace inner circle), Chance has some serious skills, from speaking fluent Japanese and citing obscure legal precedents to passing as a professional boxer and flying a 747--upside down. The stories are preposterous and the presentation lighthearted and amusing (watching the Princess, disguised as a hooker, throwing back shots in a bar and using her fencing skills to fight off the bad guys is a hoot), but what really distinguishes Human Target
are the action and fight set pieces in every episode. These are pulled off mostly with stunts instead of computer tricks, and the results are as good as or better than anything on television and almost in the same league as, say, those in a Bourne
film--no small feat when you take into account the lower budgets and tight shooting schedules common to TV productions. --Sam Graham
This is the thinking of Christopher Chance, a mysterious security agent for hire who assumes different identities, at times literally becoming a human target on behalf of his clients. Using the popular DC Comics title as a springboard for riveting and intelligent action and adventure, Human Target provides a thrill ride with no clear boundaries. Resourceful, driven and compelled by a force known only to him, this take-charge antihero will barter his services for an aged bottle of scotch, much to the chagrin of his shadowy associates. If someone is threatened or a life is in danger...leave it to Chance.