A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this action drama revolves around a bank heist and hostage negotiations between cops and criminals. Both groups are heavily armed, and several gun battles occur (leading to several injuries and at least one gunshot death). In one particularly graphic scene, a man performs a makeshift tracheotomy on an injured woman with a pen, and lots of blood oozes around the wound. A couple sneaks into a closet to fool around and viewers see clothes coming off, including a brief close-up of the woman's bra; the camera also catches regular glimpses of other women's cleavage. Language is harsh for basic cable, including "s--t" and ass; sexual and scatological repartee also crops up.
What's the story?
Focusing on the relationship between two men on opposite sides of the law, this action-packed drama hinges on the tension created when a bank heist goes wrong. John Leguizamo (whose voice, at least, is familiar to kids thanks to his work in the Ice Age movies) plays Mr. Wolf, a former U.S. soldier whose bitterness toward the government about how he was treated after returning from war has put him on a criminal path. As the head of a small team of bank robbers, he enters into negotiations with Horst Cali (Donnie Wahlberg). Cali is a smart, gritty hostage negotiator who bristles at authority and has his hands full with Wolf's band of military-trained robbers, who've earned some public sympathy.
Is it any good?
You might think an original series on Spike TV, a cable channel specifically targeted at men, would be packed full of guns, blood, breasts, cops, and maybe even soldiers. In the case of THE KILL POINT, you'd be right. With such a narrow focus, The Kill Point doesn't have much room to move. But the scenario does offer plenty of opportunity for gun battles, tense standoffs, sexual banter, and hostages' attempts to outsmart the criminals.
Fans of thrillers and action flicks will enjoy the show's cinematic "look," as well as the fact that it tackles a topical political issue and that the cast includes some good character actors. But lots of violence makes The Kill Point best for mature teens and adults.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the end justifying the means. What does that phrase mean? Is it ever OK to kill or steal? In the face of injustice, when all legal means for resolution have failed, what options do people have? Do you think this series presents a realistic picture of how a hostage negotiation might work? Situations like this are often exaggerated in TV shows and movies -- why? Is the reality any less terrifying?