Cinemax’s STRIKE BACK is an original series based from the Strike Back novel by former Special Air Service member Chris Ryan. Season Two (Strike Back: Vengeance in United Kingdom) gives viewers who are unfamiliar to the series a good glimpse into what the other seasons are about. Since it is the third series in a running television program, it may be hard for new viewers to follow due to the complex character relationships and story twists. However, to put it simply: Strike Back teem with violent action, and it proves Cinemax continues to live up to the nickname “Skinemax” by featuring frequent moments of intense sexual intimacy between heavy shelling and a climbing body count.
Section 20, a unique group within the British Intelligence Service, called in to hunt for billionaire Conrad Knox (Charles Dance) across the continent of Africa to obtain four nuclear triggers. Two special agents–American Damian Scott (Sullivan Stapleton) and British Michael Stonebridge (Philip Winchester)–must work together with their new commander, Major Rachel Dalton (Rhona Mitra) to pursue Knox while preventing the shut down of Section 20 by higher ups.
There is so much going on in Strike Back that if you were not there for the beginning of the first season, it is really hard to keep up with character alliances, conflicts and motivations. Watching the first season (Project Dawn) would help a lot with understanding what all is going on. The fast pace of the show is engaging and exciting for those who find sustenance in gritty “shoot em up” action and nudity. If not, then some may find the series a bit frustrated with the hyper-masculine, cliched action and dialogue of Scott and Stonebridge. There is a few noteworthy scenes and characters Section 20 comes across along the way chasing down Knox, but the overall speed and lack of comprehensible plots of Season Two are a turn off. Filming “on location” in South Africa adds to the cinematic realistic effect.
Strike Back has a very dedicated viewing demographic that feeds this beast of an action series. Not a show for everyone but for those who enjoys relentless gunfire, explosions and two men and one woman who can kick a lot of ass, this series supplies the goods–and then some.
Strike Back – Season Two Features include:
Audio commentary with cast and crew including Philip Winchester, Sullivan Stapleton, Julian Holmes, Lyne Rene, Michael J. Bassett, and Shane Taylor.
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