"I don't like to kill people. But I'm really good at it." -- Reese
Ben Linus from Lost and Jesus from Passion of the Christ fight crime! That's the whole show, and they are excellent in it.
Person of Interest is about a guy (Jim Caviezel) who beats up bad guys and works with a rich guy (Michael Emerson) who built a terrorism early warning program. It's not as sci-fi as it could be. I expected from previews the computer would be a super-science gizmo like on Minority Report. Instead the early warnings are a side effect of a program that monitors cameras and phones for suspicious hijinks.
So it's not a stretch to believe this thing exists. It's a stretch that Ben from Lost only hires one guy in one city to use the info. But the show only has one hour a week.
It's a standard procedural. That's what I was afraid it would be. Every week Finch (that's Ben) gets a number from the program, and puts Reese (that's Jim Caviezel) to work to prevent something from happening.
The computer gives very little information for the good guys to go on. So the show isn't boxed in. It can be any kind of procedural.
The only reason to watch are the stars. Jim Caviezel and Michael Emerson are great here. Emerson reprises the Ben Linus voice. I love the sing-song way his voice changes. Every word sounds like a threat.
Emerson as Finch is prickly and humorless. He has the thankless task of Exposition Guy. He has to sit and read off a monitor to Jim Caviezel. But he nails it. It's fun to listen to him talk.
Caviezel is always in emotional dramas, but I read that he was in the running for Cyclops in X-Men and Superman in Superman Returns. Here, he's an all-over action hero. In the very first scene on the first episode, he goes full Batman on a gang of thugs. Can he play Batman? When the terrible day comes that Christian Bale quits being Batman, I want Jim Caviezel to play Batman.
Caviezel grins when he, quite convincingly, talks smack to bad guys. It's terrifying.
His fight scenes are cool. When a guy in a fight scene makes you say "Whoo!", that's a winner.
There is more stuff going on besides the weekly procedural, but not much more. A cop pursues Reese because he's taking the law into his own hands. TV and comic book cops always have a problem with that.
Brief flashbacks show Reese and Finch's backstories. There are no conspiracies or recurring villains or other regular characters beyond those three.
There are, however, scenes where Caviezel is about to take action. Then a door closes, or the camera pulls way back. Then innocent people run from wherever Caviezel was. That's awesome.
One thing distracted me in the first episode. When Reese appears, when he goes full Batman, he's sickly and homeless. But he refuses to work for Finch. Then he shaves his crazy-drifter beard and cuts his hair. He should have shaved after he takes the job. There was no moment when the audience could buy into his transformation.
I'm not saying I wanted a ZZ Top "Sharp Dressed Man" montage.
OK. I am saying that.
JJ Abrams and Jonathan Nolan (writer of The Dark Knight movie) are utterly creative people. Too much thought must have gone into this show for it to only be a procedural. So far, that's its major fail.
Caviezel is a bad dude. Emerson is fun to watch. I want to watch them, and I don't care what the story is. I confess. I really just want to watch Caviezel shoot more fools in the kneecaps.
Watch the show free right here.