Review: The Player

the-player-nbc-051115Wesley Snipes is allowed to be on television? I thought he was condemned to be doing direct to DVD films for the rest of his natural life.

Anyway, The Player opens with Snipes over a dead body.

Ex-FBI agent Alex  Kane is now a security consultant. He thinks on various levels, is observant, and is a little insane. We  have the standard James Bond-like opening to show off Kane’s skills — including jumping off a roof to swing in through a hotel room window in order to foil an assassination.

In short, the opening is very much like Human Target … another show I miss.

When Kane’s ex-wife (who he is still very, very friendly with — as in showering together with) is murdered, his pursuit and capture of the killer is interrupted by Cassandra King (played by Charity Wakefield). Kane is, of course, accused of the murder, and adopted by a Mr. Johnson (Snipes). Johnson and King run a unique gambling ring where the bored super-rich predict and bet on crime.

Yes, someone on NBC saw Person of Interest, and decided that they could come up with something similar. But then again, so did Fox and Minority Report.

Now, while I’m all for private enterprise, but this strikes be as a little rediculous.  Snipes didn’t exactly help encourage me with this particular ad campaign. And placing bets on crime because it’s predicted solely by data analysis? This part of the show is far too much like Person of Interest. As long as this conceit doesn’t turn into a plot with a killer AI dueling another one, this may not be a problem. We’ll see.

However, the action is tight, Kane is likable, with enough character to show promise. Granted, Snipes is overacting while trying to underplay it, but he’s failing miserably … but Snipes is on for maybe two minutes at a time, so it isn’t a drawback.

At the end of the day? It’s fun. I’ll be watching it again.

About Declan Finn

Declan Finn is the author of Honor at Stake, an urban fantasy novel, nominated for Best Horror in the first annual Dragon Awards. He has also written The Pius Trilogy, an attempt to take Dan Brown to the woodshed in his own medium -- soon to be republished by Silver Empire Press. Finn has also written "Codename: Winterborn," an SF espionage thriller, and it's follow-up, "Codename: Winterborn." And "It was Only on Stun!" and "Set To Kill" are murder mysteries at a science fiction convention.
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