So last week you read about my excitement for this Friday's Tony Scott directed season opener of NUMB3RS. So now that I've seen it, am I still excited? Did it live up to its potential? Did it take an ardent movie fan and make him want to begin watching a television show with any regularity? In short: yes.
Scott directs this with all the energy and kinetic style that he brings to his films, but continues his current trend of moving away from the more disjointed, experimental style that has been the hallmark of his more recent efforts like Domino and Man On Fire. The result is an episode of television that lacks a wasted moment and feels more like a moderately budgeted movie than it does weekly TV. The camera is always in motion, everyone is on the run and the pacing is as taut and quickly moving as you'd expect from Scott.
What's interesting is that this feels very much like a project geared towards hooking in a whole new audience without neglecting its fans. Forget the fact that this is the beginning of the fourth season. Having watched a handful of episodes, none of which took place last season, I was able to follow along and be drawn into the story immediately. The writing is sharp and smart, introducing all of the characters in such a fashion that a new viewer gets caught up to speed without it being too obvious that they're running standard issue television pilot introductions. It feels natural and very much a part of the story, and it wasn't until thinking about it afterwards that I noticed how smoothly they'd gone about doing it.
And once Val Kilmer shows up, hold onto your hats. He ain't a nice guy. This uses Kilmer's strength with quirky characters to deliver a solid villain that makes the most out of his limited screen time. Every moment with him is perfect, exactly what you'd expect out of yet another collaboration between him and Scott.
The long and the short of it is this: if you love Tony Scott, or have at least have enjoyed his films like Enemy of the State, Déjà Vu or Spy Game, then you owe it to yourself to check out this week's episode of NUMB3RS. Even if you've never seen a single episode, Scott wants to catch you up and entertain you with his unique, frenetic style for 43 solid, pulse pounding minutes.
And once you're done, run out and rent one of his movies to follow it up with.
Tune in for the NUMB3RS season premier on Friday, September 28th on CBS.
C. Robert Cargill - - - Email Me
Austin-based Cargill, who not only loves but owns The Cutting Edge, writes on movies and DVD five times a week.