SPECIAL UNIT 2
Nick O'Malley -
Kate Benson -
Richard Page -
Sean Redmon -
OTHER MONSTER HUNTERS
Buffy The Vampire Slayer
Kate Benson has believed in monsters all her life and not jus the human kind that she deals with as a Chicago cop. Whilst investigating some kidnappings with a very specific pattern she encounters a monster that bullets bounce off and a man who has a weapon that can destroy it. Suspended by her department, Benson learns that there is a special unit within the police that hunts down the threats to the city posed by creatures descended from the MIssing Link between man and animal. The ones in question are gargoyles and they are about to hatch in huge numbers if they are not stopped within the next 24 hours.
SPECIAL UNIT 2 makes no attempt to be anything other than an unrealistic entertainment romp if this first episode is to be the template. The gargoyle makeup is deeply unconvincing, but far more believable than the plot. This is the origin episode, however, so the plotting may get better, but the tongue-in-cheek tone and frothy dialogue suggest otherwise. It's not as witty as it would like to believe it is, but there are some nice moments and the cast deliver the banter well.
Alexondra Lee is likeable as Kate, our heroine, but hardly a stand out in the role and that is a pattern that travels through the entire casting. Michael Landes (one time Jimmy Olsen in LOIS AND CLARK: THE NEW ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN) makes for an entertainingly full of himself male lead, but the hints of vulnerability are somewhat hammered home throughout. Carl the gnome is just embarrassing, especially in his fighting with Nick.
SPECIAL UNIT 2 may end up being harmless fun, but it will need to do better than this if it is to be memorable harmless fun.Top
Werewolves are at large in the city and people are being killed if they turn up in the wrong place at the wrong moment. Tracking these beasts whilst in human form is all but impossible when not one of them, so Nick takes the unthinkable step, leaving the rest of the team to either cure him or kill him.
This is a fairly straightforward variation on the cop going undercover and liking it so much that he might not be able to come back. Admittedly, the lure this time is the enhanced abilities of a werewolf and the arrogance fits in perfectly with the character, but it plays out just about exactly as you thought it would from start to finish.
Which is not to say that it's not entertaining, because it is, but it's certainly not groundbreaking.Top
The reanimation of a mummified corpse doesn't cause too many raised eyebrows in the special unit, but this one hails from Japan and has some very serious martial arts skills, not to mention the ability to make itself invulnerable if it can carry out a ceremony involving three young women, one of whom happens to be Kate.
No shambling bandage wrapped zombie this. Admittedly it is bandage-wrapped, but it has all the moves of a Bruce Lee wannabe. Unfortunately, what it doesn't have is the fight scenes that allow it to show off those skills or a strong story to back it up. Three weeks running the show has put one of the principles in mortal danger and needing rescue by the other. If that pattern persists then this could get very old very fast.
That said, the opening sequence is quite creepy fun and the rest is entertaining if familiar.Top
Men are being picked up at bars and drained of all their bodily fluids. The poison that paralyses them whilst this happens mimics that of the black widow spider. There is an eyewitness that nobody believes, but Nick starts to develop feelings for her just at the time that the team locate the nest.
Dating's a dangerous game and in the city the women can be as much the predators as the men. That's the background to a fun plot that treads familiar ground, but does so with entertainment high on the agenda and subtext pretty low, which is just as well since all the twists along the way are pretty much predictable.
The spider women are also pretty well rendered, keeping them mainly women with fangs and lots of spiderlike legs. It saves on dodgy CGI disappointments.Top
All the waste fat from a liposuction clinic suddenly develops sentience and sets off in search of more fat to ingest. Once all of the waste fat has gone, it turns to the next best source of food, fat people. Whilst the team try to do their job, an old friend of Nick's gets into trouble by not being able to let the case go.
The fat monster here is a disappointing mix of a man in a latex suit and some very dodgy CGI transformation moments. There is some lip service paid to the fact that this isn't just some random monster, but rather something that man created from his own vanity and overconsumption, but that gets abandoned early on in favour of chasing the thing from place to place. The subplot regarding Nick's old cop friend is an unwelcome distraction.Top
Young virgin girls are being turned into braindead vegetables by creatures that emerge from the sea and stun their victims with high-pitched songs just like the sirens of legend. Kate has to find and destroy them before her sister becomes a target.
Young women are being targeted by the man-in-a-rubber suit monster of the week and the lead character's sister happens to be in town. You can pretty much tell where this is going from the beginning, but there are some nice comedic moments, mainly based about unfair comments made concerning college sorority girls.
This is the end of the short season for a show that has been entertaining enough, but ultimately unmemorable and disposable.Top
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