The Kill Point
You know how no-nonsense cops come pretty much from a cookie cutter so writers like to give them a particular quirk that makes them uniquely them, other, separate, distinct from the herd? Well Captain Horst Cali (Donnie Wahlberg) in The Kill Point‘s quirk is that he’s a grammar nazi. So, as the bullets are flying and carnage is all around he keeps on saying things like "you used a misplaced modifier motherfucker!" It’s totally ludicrous but kind of funny. I could believe that Inspector Morse with his Wagner and his beer could exist in some universes (maybe even this one) but a policeman with a passion for grammatical perfection? I’ll take some convincing. But The Kill Point is not overly concerned with realism. It’s the story of Gulf War veterans whose plan to rob a bank goes wrong and turns into an extended hostage situation.
"Captain Horst Cali’s quirk is that he’s a grammar nazi. So, as the bullets are flying and carnage is all around he keeps on saying things like ‘you used a misplaced modifier motherfucker!’"
Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to introduce the five post-traumatic stress disorder horsemen of the Apocalypse. Mr. Wolf – real name Sergeant Jake Mendez (John Leguizamo), a war hero who was court martialled on a bullshit charge, a bit like the A Team. And just like the A Team, his crew all have ridiculous nicknames.
Mr. Rabbit (Jeremy Davidson) – a violent sociopath quite happy to beat the hostages senseless when it takes his fancy. Then there’s Mr. Pig (Frank Grillo) – a tattooed fool who spends his time trying to fuck one of the female hostages. Mr. Mouse (Leo Fitzpatrick) – it’s Johnny Weeks from The Wire! He’s injured and delusional. No change there then. Finally, we have Mr. Cat – (J.D. Williams) it’s Bodie from The Wire! He’s pretty badass and performs a tracheotomy with a pen which has got to hurt.
"Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to introduce the five post-traumatic stress disorder horsemen of the Apocalypse."
He’s not the only familiar face from West Baltimore. Up on the roof we have SWAT sniper Quincy (Michael K. Williams) – it’s Omar from The Wire! MKW is essentially playing Omar again just without the scar and the cocksucking.
Cali is in for a stressful time as Gulf War veterans have notoriously sloppy syntax. God knows what schoolboy grammatical howlers they will have in store for him. A tear gas canister can make you weep but nothing clears a room like misuse of the possessive apostrophe.
But beyond that he has to deal with his superior officer Chief Nolan Abrami (Michael McGlone) who seems to ignore Cali’s 100% success rate in hostage negotiations, preferring his own brand of doomed to failure hotheadedness. Where would we be without an arsehole in charge?
"A tear gas canister can make you weep but nothing clears a room like misuse of the possessive apostrophe."
If you’ve come this far you know it’s a daft show. It can also get a little precious with Sergeant Mendez’s anti-war speechifying (excuse me, aren’t you a hired killer?). But put those things aside and this is an enjoyable Die Hard type of affair that keeps you watching and keeps you guessing. They play on your sympathies well, humanising the hostages, the hostagetakers and the cops. As the series progresses, complications to the already fraught situation are skillfully worked in. Alan Beck, (Tobin Bell ) (Jigsaw from Saw!) the billionaire father of one of the hostages works covertly to extract his daughter, as the remaining members of Platoon 1013 seek to extract their buddies, the hostagetakers. There won’t be anyone left in the bank at this rate. I don’t really see this becoming a franchise but it’s certainly a fun ride while it lasts.
The best thing about it: It’s good to see those homeless Wire refugees picking up a paycheque.
The worst thing about it: The laughable Fahrenheit 9/11 speech from Mendez to the crowd.
The verdict on The Kill Point: The Fog of Wahlberg.
Marks out of 10: 7.5