The Kill Point
|The Kill Point|
|Created by||James DeMonaco|
Joshua Elijah Reese
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||1|
|No. of episodes||8 (list of episodes)|
|Executive producer(s)||Todd Lieberman
|Production company(s)||Lions Gate Television
|Original network||Spike TV|
|Original release||July 22 – August 26, 2007|
The Kill Point is an American television series that follows a group of U.S. Marines recently returned from serving in Iraq as they come together to pull off a major bank heist of a Three Rivers Bank branch in Pittsburgh. The series, produced by Mandeville Films and Lionsgate Television, is the first drama for the Spike TV network. The film of the series had the working title The Kill Pitt.
Jake "Mr. Wolf" Mendez (John Leguizamo), an ex-Sergeant in the Marine Corps and his men, all former members of the "10-13", a military platoon that participated in combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, enter a bank and successfully rob it. On their way to the getaway car, they come under fire from some law enforcement and private security personnel. Forced to retreat back into the bank when their getaway driver is wounded and their vehicle is disabled, they make hostages of the customers who failed to escape during the firefight.
The eight episode mini-series follows the plight of the robbers and hostages as the police, led by hostage negotiator Captain Horst Cali (Donnie Wahlberg), attempt to end the stand off while elements of the "10-13" outside the bank and the father of one of the hostages (played by Tobin Bell) work to help Mr. Wolf and his team escape.
Law enforcement and other characters
- Captain Horst Cali (played by Donnie Wahlberg), an experienced Police Negotiator who has never had a hostage die in one of his operations. He is married and his wife is pregnant with their first child, a son.
- Lieutenant Connie Reubens (played by Michael Hyatt) is the SWAT Team commander. Like Mr. Wolf, she is an ex-soldier, who served in Afghanistan. She and Cali have a close relationship based on mutual trust. She wears a U.S. Army Combat Infantry Badge; however, this is a mistake on the part of the production crew. Female service members are not authorized to wear the Combat Infantry Badge, as only males are allowed to join Infantry units.
- Quincy (played by Michael K. Williams) is a SWAT sniper. He largely acts as an observer, commenting on the action unfolding below to his spotter "Johnny-Boy", who says little. Like LT Reubens, Quincy wears a U.S. Army Combat Infantry Badge on his body armor, with two stars, denoting service in two separate wars.
- Hawk (played by Michael Hogan), another member of the SWAT team. Part of a three-man forward "breach" team, he must deal with the death of one squad-mate and betrayal by another. Prominently wears the 101st Airborne Division "Screaming Eagles" insignia on his helmet.
- Deputy Chief Nolan Abrami (Michael McGlone) is Captain Cali's superior and initially seems reluctant to fully trust Cali, though as the hostage situation drags on, Abrami's respect for Cali increases as the hostages are freed one by one.
- Alan Beck (Tobin Bell) is a wealthy real estate mogul and father of one of the hostages. Attempts to get his daughter out of the bank and then attempts to help Mr. Wolf and his gang escape.
- Mr. Wolf - real name: Sergeant Jake Mendez (played by John Leguizamo) is a veteran of the War in Iraq. He served 15 years in the United States Marine Corps, had three tours of duty during the war, and bears numerous scars covering his body from injuries sustained therein. He has a 16-year-old son who is a heroin addict; his wife died in 2006.
- Mr. Rabbit - real name: Corporal Henry Roman (played by Jeremy Davidson) loyal to Mr. Wolf, who views him as a coward because of an incident during a firefight in Iraq when Roman allegedly ran out of ammunition. The most violent and mentally unstable of the hostage takers, he carries around a severed ear taken from a member of the Iraqi Republican Guard, and violently assaults one of the hostages, Rocko, with little provocation. He also attempts to execute two of the hostages but is stopped by Wolf.
- Mr. Pig - real name: Albert Roman (played by Frank Grillo) is Mr. Rabbit's brother. Before Iraq, he fixed cars at a shop, and after Iraq he was back to the same job. During the robbery, he takes a sexual interest in Ashley Beck, one of the hostages. He is also shown using illegal drugs, as he produces a small amount of cocaine and shares it with Ashley at one point.
- Mr. Mouse - real name: Michael (played by Leo Fitzpatrick) an artist who served three tours of duty with Mr. Wolf. He is wounded in the initial firefight. He was deeply affected by his military service and is often see drawing pictures in a notebook, part of "comic" he is composing. Accidentally shoots one of the hostages when exhaustion and his wound cause him to doze off while holding his gun.
- Mr. Cat - real name: Marshall O'Brien, Jr. (played by J.D. Williams) a combat medic, he saves the life of several hostages and robbers, including Mouse and the woman Mouse shoots. Aside from Mr. Wolf, the most level headed of the soldiers trapped in the bank.
- Corporal Deke Quinlan (played by Steve Cirbus) the driver for their getaway car, he is shot in the arm during the initial firefight but manages to flee the scene unobserved. He later gathers together the members of 10-13 and attempts to save Mr. Wolf.
- Abe Sheldon (Geoffrey Cantor) is the bank manager for Three Rivers Bank. He is 45 years old, is not married and does not have children. At one point he panics and attempts to escape, but later finds a great deal of courage he probably never knew he had.
- Ashley Beck (Christine Evangelista) is the daughter of fictional business mogul Alan Beck (Tobin Bell). She is in her early-mid 20's and Mr. Wolf quickly realizes that she is the most valuable hostage due to her father's wealth and influence.
- Leroy Barnes (Ryan Sands) is a defense attorney and father of two sons. During the takeover of the bank, he hides a Walther PPK he carried for self-defense in a potted plant. He also texts out information to the police and his wife before the hostages are stripped of their cell phones.
- Rocko (Adam Cantor) is an electrician for the Three Rivers Bank. An ex-convict, he initially helps to organize the hostages, but is beaten for his efforts by Mr. Rabbit and nearly killed by Wolf.
- Bernard (Bingo O'Malley) is an elderly man, and a self-professed homosexual who claims to have "come out of the closet" in 1953. He is one of the calmest of the hostages, rarely panicking to the degree of some of the others. When Mr. Wolf is trying to decide who to kill if his demands to restore power to the bank are not met, Bernard volunteers himself, saying that he is the "logical choice".
- Chloe (Jennifer Ferrin) is a young woman in her 30's. Like Mr. Wolf, she recently lost her spouse and this creates a connection between the two of them. She quickly seems to fall under the effects of Stockholm Syndrome, going so far as to beg Wolf to take her with him during one of the escape attempts.
- Teddy and Robby Sabian (Peter Appel and Ethan Rosenfeld) are a father and his son. Teddy is freed early on to give activation codes to Alan Beck. Robby is a computer whiz and is recruited by Mr. Wolf to hack into unblocked frequencies so that the hostage takers can communicate with their men outside.
- Henry (Adam Kroloff) is a security officer at the bank and friends with Rocko. He is released early. He was originally armed with a Smith & Wesson Model 10 Heavy Barrel revolver, but is promptly relieved of it by Mr. Pig at the start of the robbery.
- Cass (Brandi Engel) is a friend of Ashley's and is nearly killed when accidentally shot by Mr. Mouse.
|No.||Title||Original air date|
|1||"Who's Afraid of Mr. Wolf, Part 1"
|July 22, 2007|
|2||"Who's Afraid of Mr. Wolf, Part 2"
"Who's Afraid of Mr. Wolf?"
|July 22, 2007|
|3||"No Meringue"||July 29, 2007|
|4||"Pro Patria"||August 5, 2007|
|5||"Visiting Hours"||August 12, 2007|
|6||"The Great Ape Escape"||August 19, 2007|
|7||"The Devil's Zoo, Part 1"
"Rabbit at Unrest"
|August 26, 2007|
|8||"The Devil's Zoo, Part 2"
"The Devil's Zoo"
|August 26, 2007|
The series was executive produced by James DeMonaco, David Hoberman, Todd Lieberman and Steve Shill. DeMonaco has dealt with hostage situations before in his script for The Negotiator. Directors include cable regular Steve Shill who the network hoped would help to establish their reputation for drama.
Critics have characterised the show as familiar but watchable. Comparisons have been drawn to 1970s bank heist movies, Tarantino, The Nine and 24. Comparisons to The Nine have been favourable on the grounds that The Kill Point always has an ending in sight. Mr. Wolf's speeches to the crowd has been called "an Attica moment" and compared to Dog Day Afternoon.
The characters have been described as cliché by reviewers. However, the script has drawn praise for its subtlety and entertainment value. One reviewer felt that the running time allowed the cliched characters to be developed in more interesting directions.
The casting of the show has drawn particular praise. Reviewers have noted the cast members who have also worked on The Wire including Michael K. Williams, JD Williams, Leo Fitzpatrick and Michael Hyatt. The chemistry of the opposing roles of negotiator and hostage taker also drew praise for John Leguizamo and Donnie Wahlberg as well as a surprising performance by Jeremy Davidson an unknown whose portrayal of a disturbed war veteran was very under-rated. The Pittsburgh Post Gazette praised local actor Bingo O'Malley.
Online only "webisodes" featuring Steve Cirbus as Deke and Joshua Elijah Reese as Derzius were made available via Spike TV's website. They cover the activities of Deke and Derzius of 10/13 platoon outside the bank as they work to aid Mendez and company.
Despite healthy ratings and attaining the target demographic of male viewers, Spike decided not to renew the series for a second season.
The series was released on DVD in the United Kingdom in 2008.
- Bill Keveny (July 20, 2007). "Spike's aiming higher with 'The Kill Point'". USA Today. Retrieved 2007-09-05.
- Barry Garron (2007). "The Kill Point". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on 2007-10-01. Retrieved 2007-09-05.
- Alan Sepinwall (2007). "'The Kill Point' proves formulas can pay off". New Jersey Star Ledger. Retrieved 2007-09-05.
- Matt Roush (2007). "In Summer, Cable Keeps Heating Up". TV Guide. Archived from the original on 2007-10-21. Retrieved 2007-09-05.
- Robert Lloyd (2007). "Spike TV offers babe-free viewing". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on 2007-08-26. Retrieved 2007-09-05.
- Linda Stasi (July 20, 2007). "Gang Grim". New York Post. Retrieved 2007-09-05.
- Brian Lowry (July 19, 2007). "The Kill Point". Variety. Retrieved 2007-09-05.
- Rob Owen (July 22, 2007). "'Kill Point' starts slow, then flows". Pittsburgh Post Gazette. Retrieved 2007-09-05.
- Robert Bianco (July 23, 2007). "What to watch this weekend". USA Today. Retrieved 2007-09-05.
- Owen, Rob (2007-11-13). "'Kill Point' sequel dead". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.