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Flashpoint - The First Season

Review by: 
Catwalk
Release Date: 
2008
Studio: 
Paramount
Genre: 
Action/Drama
Format: 
DVD
Region: 
1 NTSC
Aspect Ratio: 
2.35:1
Directed by: 
David Frazee
Cast: 
Enrico Colantoni
Amy Jo Johnson
Hugh Dillon
David Paetkau
Movie: 
4
Extras: 
3
Bottom Line: 
4

Flashpoint is a CBS-made TV series based on Toronto’s Emergency Task Force. The Flashpoint crew is a mix of elite police professionals called the Strategic Response Unit. They are responsible for negotiation, hostage situations, and responding to the threat of terrorist actions. They routinely deal with every danger from suicidal teens to gangs with hostages; including grenades, tasers, and bombs. 

The team is led by Sgt. Gregory Parker (Colantoni - Just Shoot Me!) and veteran Ed Lane (Dillon -Surveillance) . Team members include Jules Callaghan (Johnson-Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers), former Afghanistan war veteran Sam Braddock (Alien vs. Predators – Requiem actor David Paetkau), Mike Scarlatti (Sergio Di Zio - Boondock Saints)  and Kevin Wordsworth (Defendor's Michael Cram).

Each episode is written with a strong formula.  Start with action. Go back and show how the team got up to that point, then reveal how it all works out. Each member is given their time to shine, with everything from a shooter in a courthouse to a former team member who’s suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.  The producers use music to punctuate each episode and to help diffuse the tension.

The first season includes 13 episodes, beginning with Scorpio.  The opening episode pits the team against an enraged gunman, with fatal consequences. The result of this is revisited later and shapes the future of the series and the team. The second episode features Parker negotiating with a father desperate for his daughter’s heart transplant. Episode three involves a drug lord, an undercover agent and an unknown factor that jeopardizes the entire mission.

Every episode is equally frantic, desperate and heart-breaking. Flashpoint follows a very intense group of individuals who spend every day on the brink of life and death. The characters are inspirational and the camaraderie between them is convincing. Viewers who like one episode will like them all. The camera work includes sweeping shots of Toronto’s skyline all the way down to first-person chase scenes from the cast’s perspective.

Series protagonist Greg Parker is portrayed by actor Enrico Colantoni.  Colantoni is famous for his comedic acting; including work on Just Shoot Me!, Galaxy Quest, 3rd Rock from the Sun,  and Glen Martin DDS. He accepted the role because his brother was a 30-year veteran of the Toronto Police Force. Johnson shows great depth as the only female member of the SRU. Dillon’s Lane is a steady leader, especially when his past cases come back to haunt him. Praetkau is a good wild-card; the war veteran with a short fuse.

The 3-disc DVD is filmed in 2.35:1 aspect ratio, with Dolby surround sound 5.1. The total run time is 550 minutes. Extras include commentary on the episode "Scorpio" by director, David Frazee.  Also included are a pair of short featurettes, including a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the show.

Flashpoint is currently in Season 4, airing Friday nights on CBS.  The official site is http://www.cbs.com/primetime/flashpoint/.

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