Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Program of Interest

Person of Interest is a mashup of The Bourne Identity and Minority Report brought to you by the co-writer of The Dark Knight. I am not a Jim Caviezel fan but it appears he was born to play two roles: "The Christ" in The Passion of... and ex-CIA hitman, John Reese. Whereas the erstwhile Jason Bourne can't remember anything, poor John Reese knows what he was; what he did; and only wants to forget about it.

When we are introduced to Mr. Reese, he is a bearded bum about to be accosted by a gang of obnoxious prep school boys (is that an oxymoron?). Tit leads to tat and Mr. Reese is taken into custody after dispatching the Breakfast Club with extreme prejudice.

Watching the surveillance video from the subway car, Detective Carter (Taraji P. Henson) suspects there is more to the bearded bum than meets the eye. Using the old fingerprints on the glass trick, she runs his prints but before she can get a hit, Reese has been sprung by the enigmatic Fitch (Michael Emerson).

Mr. Fitch is a billionaire inventor who has created the perfect all-invasive, all-knowing, all-seeing, post 9-11, super-surveillance network - except, after selling it to the government, he only has "backdoor" access to it, and to conceal his backdoor access, he can only extract social security numbers - or something. Anyhoo, he is able to determine that a crime is about to occur only not when or (apparently) to whom. All Fitch is able to do is determine a "person of interest." He needs someone to connect the dots and slowly convinces Mr. Reese to become his highly skilled blunt instrument.

The set-up set, Person of Interest moves jauntily along with periodic bursts of brutal, well choreographed action, competently sold by the loose-limbed Caviezel, mixed with a healthy dose of social paranoia.

If the notion of Big Brother constantly watching everything you do doesn't chill you to your bones, Person of Interest may be the show for you.