My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
This post-9/11 morality tale promises to be preposterously entertaining. From James Caviezel’s preposterous fake homeless-man beard to Michael Emerson’s preposterous crime predicting computer, what makes this new TV series click is lots of action combined with two excellent actors helping us suspend our disbeliefs.
Caviezel plays John Reese, a badass ex-government agent who has ninja moves that make Batman look like Barney Fife. Emerson plays Mr. Finch, a billionaire genius who built a supercomputer that processes inputs from surveillance cameras, cell phones, email, and other sources to find patterns that will predict terrorist activity. A byproduct of this precrime data is information on ordinary criminal activity that the government is not interested in. Finch has a case of conscience and begins using this “irrelevant” data to try to prevent bad things. He recruits Reese, now an alcoholic drifter, to be his Archie Goodwin to his Nero Wolfe. The only catch is that Finch somehow only receives the social security numbers of the persons of interest and doesn’t know whether they are perpetrators or victims.
This series looks to present gray-area ethics with dark, sharp writing from Jonathan Nolan who co-wrote the screenplays for The Prestige (2006) and The Dark Knight (2008) with his brother Christopher. Executive producer J.J. Abrams will undoubtedly help ensure the series maintains a murky, conspiratorial edge. Expect to see conspiracy subplots about high-tech government surveillance and its misuse.
Caviezel makes a believable action man with a brain. Emerson makes a believable mystery man with a brain. Together, they make a team to root for. After all, if you were in trouble, wouldn’t you want to have Benjamin Linus and Jesus Christ on your side?