Strike Back: Season 4 (Blu-ray) – Series Review
Follow Genre: Action, Drama, Thriller
Distributor: Warner Bros Entertainment
Episodes: 10
Duration: 45 min (per episode)

Strike Back: Season 4 (Blu-ray) – Series Review

Site Score
7.7
Good: Some really good acting and some really witty one liners
Bad: Writing is all over the place.
User Score
9.0
(1 votes)
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Rating: 9.0/10 (1 vote cast)

In a world where terrorist attacks are a sad reality and not just some fiction of a writer with too much time on his or her hands, Strike Back came into being. Season 4 is the final season of the series and things are being revved up a notch. So sit back crank up the volume and watch as and unstoppable duo take on incredible odds and fight back the threat of terrorism. Disclaimer: This review contains spoilers.

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The season kicks off with a hostage situation. The daughter, Chloe Foster (Eliza Bennett) of the British Ambassador, Robert Foster (Tim Mcinnerny) has been kidnapped. Against the wishes of the kidnappers the father, gets Unit 20 involved. Unit 20 consists of Damien (Sullivan Stapleton), Michael Stonebridge (Philip Winchester) as the main field ops, Julia Richmond (Michelle Lukes) and Philip Locke (Robson Green) as head of the team. Even with ironclad teamwork and some really impressive marksmanship, they fail to retrieve the girl. This isn’t much of a surprise, as the kidnappers had been tipped off to the arrival of Unit 20. The ensuing chase sequence is very reminiscent of ‘James Bond’ movies. Despite their efforts they end up with nothing to show for it.

The hostage takers are serious about their plans and send a message, the pinky finger of the hostage. The leader of the hostage taker plays his role theatrically, making him seem comically evil, minus the twirling of the moustache. When the package is delivered, the father is often shaken and furious about the failure of Unit 20. However, in the package is also a cellphone.

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This is only known to the father who finds it after perusing the package some more. The message that’s sent to said cellphone is along the lines that every time he disobeys, his daughter loses a finger. As a father out of his mind does, he blindly follows orders and does what the hostage takes ask of him. To deliver a package to the North Korean Embassy. The package is a bomb. The plans of the kidnappers is to destabilize the relation between the West and North Korea. A bomb in their embassy would do the trick perfectly. The race against the clock to find the daughter and make sure the bomb doesn’t make it to its destination is nerve wracking.

Unit 20 makes true on their promise to save the girl, but the bomb goes off in the North Korean Embassy. The event is just the beginning as the kidnappers were just puppets used by North Korea to start a revolution against the West. Just when you think Unit 20 has the story straight, something else crops up and the wife of the American Embassy turns out to have an agenda of her own.

A very destructive agenda, teaming up with a bombing expert called Oppenheimer who reveals a rather dark secret about and to Philip Locke near the end of the season. The ending of the season and the ending of ‘Strike Back’ as the fourth is the final season, has a very ‘House M.D.’ feeling to it. It is the same with different actors.

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Strike Back has an ‘arc’ feeling to it. Like every time they come close to solving the mystery, it becomes clear that the enemy they want to arrest gets killed right before the crucial information is delivered. After the second time this happens, it loses all power of surprise. Which is a shame as these things are often what keeps viewers guessing, but by using it too many times it loses its effectiveness.

Strike Back constantly goes against its own rules of reality. Sure no action movie is going to be realistic, but enjoyment comes from things following the rules of the created universe. So it’s all cool when the protagonists shoot down swathes of enemies if they all go down in one hit. Having enemies take three shots to the chest only to still be standing and being able to fight in hand to hand combat on par with an unwounded person, is defies belief. Just because said enemy is the right hand man of the current antagonist. Same goes for the scene where the bomb goes off in the earlier part of the season. Nearly everyone dies in the blast, yet the guy who was sitting only a foot away from it gets away with some rather minor injuries.

Those are the parts that really don’t make sense and stop the natural fast paced flow of the show. Another problem with Strike Back is that the writing and thus the tone is all over the place. Julia dies and of course Damien is upset by the event. He turns into a revenge seeking being which is justifiable as far as a character goes. Then all of a sudden another woman comes along and he goes down on her like Julia never existed. This happens a second time after a near death experience. He hooks up with the woman who patched him up.

Strike_Back_Season_4_02By then you might want to believe it’s his way of coping and he’s just trying to move on. A little while later he captures Li-Na (Michelle Yeoh), who killed Julia and Damien says to her: ‘What were her last words.’ Here he returns back to the grief stricken boyfriend. At this point Damien no longer has any credibility as a character. Either let him lament on the loss of his girlfriend or turn him into a loose cannon with a high sex drive to really lean into his grief, either/or, but not both. It just doesn’t work. It breaks away from the beautiful thing between Damien and Julia and her very sad passing.

Strike back has some really gems of moments. There are scenes that are so poignant and so well written they make up for the bad parts in the season. The scene right before the death of Julia, Damien’s finding the body and the scene following that are some real tear jerkers. Also the scene where Kim Martinez (Milauna Jackson) leaves Unit 20 to go into the DEA and confronts Sergeant Stonebridge about why he never made move on her, is golden. It’s sad, without being too sad and ends in a rather hopeful note. There’s several other scenes that really showcase the actors strengths and these are what really make Strike Back a show that stands out.

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If you are wondering if the only thing you are getting is season 4 of the series, then you are quite mistaken. The discs also include ‘How to strike back’. Here you’ll see all sorts of neat things like how to climb a building or how the vehicle chasing sequences went down. If you’ve seen the season before you watch this, this will mostly be a recap.

There is also a recap of the previous season, but seeing as there is no real link between season, there’s no necessity to view this. It might entice you to look at the previous seasons. Alongside these is an overview of the locations where the season was shot, called ‘Production Recon.’ All in all, a good 20 minutes worth of extras.

Conclusion
What starts out as what could be defined as a lovechild of Micheal Bay and a James Bond movie, with the explosions, chase sequences and masochismo aplenty, turns into a rather well acted show. The final of Strike Back really packs a punch. Whether or not you’ve watched the previous seasons is irrelevant because you can just jump in and enjoy it.

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Strike Back: Season 4 (Blu-ray) – Series Review, 9.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating
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First game ever was Crash Bandicoot 3 Warped, ever since then, gaming has been something that I've gravitated to. Reading's fun but not as interactive. Always up for a bout of online multiplayer. If that multiplayer is co-op. So if you are up for a friendly co-op session, hit me up. Rahenik's the name to search on PSN.

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