Mania Grade: C-
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- Episode: Pilot/Tarot
- Starring: David Lyons, Summer Glau, Keith David, Vinnie Jones, Martin Klebba, Jennifer Ferrin, James Frain, Dorian Missick
- Written by: Tom Wheeler
- Directed by: Simon West (â€œPilotâ€), Deran Sarafian (â€œTarotâ€)
- Network: NBC
Dark Knight Lite
By Kurt Anthony Krug Â Â Â
January 09, 2011
The Cape, the much-ballyhooed mid-season replacement eventually taking the time-slot of The Event (more like â€œThe Non-Eventâ€) makes its debut.
In the fictional Palm City, honest cop Vince Faraday (ER alum David Lyons) is framed by the villainous Chess (James Frain, TV’s True Blood). Faking his death, he’s taken in by Max (Keith David, Article 99) and his Carnival of Crime, a group of circus freaks that includes Pirates of the Caribbean’s Martin Klebba whose methods are criminal as they rob banks but are altruistic as they want to take down Chess. Max trains Faraday, who becomes The Cape.
Plenty of Batman parallels as The Cape dresses in black and has a long, flowing, um, cape. There’s some scenes where he looks like the Midnighter, Night Man (remember that comic-based TV series?), Cloak from Marvel’s Cloak and Dagger, Ezio from the Assassin’s Creed video game, and the Shadow â€“ take your pick. He’s aided by Oracleâ€¦ er, that is Orwell (fanboy fave Summer Glau of TV’s Firefly and its movie sequel Serenity), a computer hacker par excellence.
The dialogue is stilted in parts and clichÃ©d (â€œone man can make a differenceâ€), it’s very rushed in parts (whereas The Event is slooooooooow), some parts are campy (the bank robbery scenes, for instance) and others are dark â€“ not a good mix, given that’s what Joel Schumacher did to the Batman franchise in the mid/late 1990s. The plot device of poisoning the drink of potential victim Patrick Portman (Richard Schiff, TV’s The West Wing) was used in The Dark Knight when Joker did the same to Commissioner Loeb. The fight scenes have a â€œbeen there, done thatâ€ feel to them.
The grade The Cape received of a â€œCâ€“â€ is a generous one. Bottom line: It needs some work.