APB heads out of the gate with a great attitude and a few problems in the season one premiere “Hard Reset.” The whole thing feels a little like RoboCop meets Tony Stark. For instance, the cop who rises to detective by the end of the first episode, is named Murphy and Reeves is a billionaire engineer with a short attention-span.
There are other nods, or references, to other cop films. The district that Reeves takes over, as his pet project and personal mission to find his friend’s killer, is District 13. This is clearly a nod to the 2004 French film “Banlieue 13” (District 13.)
APB has even cast 71 year-old Ernie Hudson as another cop, albeit a senior one. Hudson has played a lawman more often than not in his long and prolific career.
While Reeves, as played by Justin Kirk, is more geek than ultra-cool and less playboy than “gameboy” the idea is the same. Whereas Stark becomes a superhero by benefits of a crime personally affecting him, Reeves gets involved because a crime that should have affected him personally got his good friend killed.
Vive la différence, as the French would say. Reeves uses his billions to “buy” a police precinct in order to catch Sully’s killer. Along the way, he meets an officer who commiserates with him and empathizes. Later, she becomes a reluctant ally.
The first episode of APB also feels a tad like a prequel for another FOX “futuristic” (cancelled after one season) cop show Almost Human. It could also serve as the beginnings of a new world a’la Demolition Man. The billionaire’s new “toys” for his personal police force are all non-lethal.
Demolition Man was all about a new world order where electric shock batons were used instead of lethal force. (Although no one has yet asked “What’s your boggle…”)
Reeves outfits his new force with three new improved bullet-proof cars, new bullet-proof uniforms (that swamps Murphy at first) and powerful taser pistols. The cops on the beat also have drone backup that boasts taser capability as well.
This is all, except for the rookie who is shot going after Hatch, incredibly bloodless. It also feels a bit like an hour long 12 episode reaffirmation that one does not need experience to run a governmental office, a’la Trump, just money and a “can do” attitude.
The episode features futuristic tools for the Chicago cops to use, drones and a not-so-nice Mayor who takes the billionaire on. APB shows promise. The characters are fairly interesting and Natalie Martinez is still one of the most watchable actresses out there.
Kirk makes his uber-rich engineer likable yet flawed and his right hand woman Ada, as played by Aussie actress Caitlin Stasey, is someone who would be MVP on any team.
APB airs Mondays on FOX. Head on over and have a look. This one may last a bit longer than Almost Human.