So I wondered whether the Human Target would be as good as the comic book, a series that many consider one of the best ever written? Well the mystery is solved, the Human Target exceeded my expectations! With a lot of action and some clever dialog, Mark Valley (of Foxes Fringe) manages to bring a character of substance and a bit of validity to what is so often a failed genre.
The pilot episode was well directed and for the most part seemed more like what you would see at the theater, in a high budget action movie, rather than something you would catch prime time on your local network. The Human Target solves the problem that many have faced in the past when trying to bring comic books to the silver screen. The show manages to delicately balance dialog and action, by establishing strong characters that don't get overwhelmed by the intense action of the show.
Mark Valley's character Christopher Chance, is one of a body guard but not just any body guard. This guy's job is not only to protect his client but also to eliminate the threat to them. In doing this he will go to lengths that go above and beyond the norm. It doesn't hurt that Mark Valley has a military background, graduating from the United States Military Academy, nor that he has already steeped himself into the action genre with his short but memorable tenure on Fox's successful Fringe. Along with Valley, the supporting cast consists of Chi Micbride (Pushing up Daisies ABC) and Jackie Earle Haley (Watchmen 2009), both adding the necessary break from the often intense action surrounding Valley's character. They are both excellent actors and are one more reason I have hope for this show. Jackie Earle Haley, is the character that really shines as Guerrero, a mercenary who gets drawn in to Christopher Chance's good fight. Haley manages to bring an intelligence and brooding nature to the character that makes this small, skinny framed man seem truly menacing.
Whether they maintain the quality of special effects in the pilot episode remains to be seen, if they do it will be an expensive series to run, but whether they do or not doesn't really matter. What they have now is some solid writing, with plot lines that are fast moving but still hold together the basic elements of todays successful drama shows, lots of intrigue, and plausibility.
The down side is that the Human Target is appearing on Fox, a channel notorious for canceling shows that do not make the top spot in their slot. This could bode ill for a show with such potential but that remains to be seen. With Fox's decision to give Dollhouse a second chance (even though it did end up being canceled) as well as allowing Josh Whedon to wrap up the shows storyline, maybe Fox has learned from past mistakes. Many a fan still remembers their pulling of Firefly, Family Guy and a host of other shows that didn't meet their high expectations in ratings. With so much animosity building from fans, maybe they've realized that a lot of viewers don't even bother tuning in because, seriously, whats the point if it's going to end up being canceled anyways?
Either way I think the success of Glee, Fringe and of course American Idol, has given Fox a little more leeway to allow for a show like the Human Target to survive the ratings. We can only hope that no one has to throw themselves in front of a bullet to save this great show. Tune in and check it out because the Human Target promises to entertain with all the oohs and aahs of your favorite action movie.