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 Season 3 reviews

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PostSubject: Season 3 reviews   Sat Aug 18, 2012 7:10 pm

http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/330889

Review: Cinemax's 'Strike Back' strikes again

By Mindy Peterman
Aug 15, 2012 in Entertainment

In the second season of the action-adventure series, counterterrorists Michael Stonebridge and Damien Scott continue their quest to rid the world of bad guys.
I’m a fan of buddy shows, the ones where two guys (or women) play off each other perfectly yet their ethics or philosophies are different enough to provide a marked yin and yang. Often those differences buoy these relationships and keep them fresh.
So it is with Strike Back’s Michael Stonebridge (Philip Winchester) and Damien Scott (Sullivan Stapleton). These two are tough-as-nails members of a top secret anti-terrorist organization known as Section 20. Scott is roguish, impulsive, a charmer and a skirt chaser. Stonebridge is somewhat more traditional in his ways. Plus he is a married man. Their differences don’t stop them from being the perfect team, as they work to fight terrorism in such remote places as Kenya, Somalia, and Mozambique.
As the first episode of the new season opens, the guys have gone their separate ways. Stonebridge has taken a leave from Section 20 and is training recruits at a military base. His goal is to stay close to home and play the dutiful husband. Scott, on the other hand, is on a hostage rescue mission that takes an unexpected dangerous turn. When a catastrophic event occurs under his command, Stonebridge decides he needs to get back to the field and help Scott out of a life threatening situation. This doesn’t make the wife happy but duty calls.
The show is gritty and intense, owing its impressive realism to the fact that it is filmed with the help of a team of consultants who are experts in the fields of counterterrorism and the military. To prepare for filming, the cast went through nearly a month of military training and tactics, and it shows.
Strike Back is billed as a solid action show but since it airs on CINEMAX, the writers are given more freedom to go wherever their whims may take them. They take full advantage of this, which does not always serve to move the story forward. Rivers of blood and guts abound. Heads are shot off. Brain matter goes flying. Sex? Yes, it’s there in abundance. It doesn’t take long for us to witness Scott and his latest paramour doing the deed. Hardly anything is left to the imagination during this tryst and a couple of closeups are way more explicit than what you might expect on a show like this.
If well plotted, character driven action shows are your thing, give Strike Back a try. You might find getting past the gratuitous nature of the provocative scenes and the over the top violence has its own rewards: the Stonebridge/Scott relationship which is truly what drives the show.
Season Two of Strike Back premieres Friday, August 17 at 10 PM on CINEMAX.

Read more: http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/330889#ixzz23wTmZ0Hb

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PostSubject: Re: Season 3 reviews   Sat Aug 18, 2012 7:10 pm

http://blog.newsok.com/television/2012/08/14/strike-back-season-two-packs-even-more-punch-than-the-first-round-of-series/

“Strike Back”: Season Two packs even more punch than the first round of series
Posted by Melissa Hayer
on August 14, 2012M at 6:01 pm

In the Cinemax action series “Strike Back,” Philip Winchester’s character, Sgt. Michael Stonebridge, had a decision to make at the end of the first season: stay with the British top-secret counterterrorism intelligence unit Section 20, or put his family first and leave this extremely dangerous job behind.

The second season begins with Stonebridge working as a trainer at a military base, his family life not going as planned, and his former partner, Damien Scott (Sullivan Stapleton), getting into trouble during a mission with Section 20.

Season Two of “Strike Back” debuts with back-to-back episodes at 9 p.m. Friday and features new cast member Rhona Mitra, as well as returning co-stars Rhashan Stone and Michelle Lukes.

The first few episodes are even more action-packed than the episodes of the first season, with the tension ratcheted up at least a notch or two.

Winchester steps up to this acting challenge with ease and is amazing in this noble role. The rapport between he and co-star Stapleton remains entertaining, bringing some levity to the intense situations their characters face.

The fact that Winchester and Stapleton do virtually all of their own stunts adds immensely to the realistic grittiness of this series, and the roguishness Stapleton brings to his character continues to be a high point.

If you like your action shows to have solid plotting and superior acting, be sure and check out “Strike Back.”

– Melissa Hayer

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PostSubject: Re: Season 3 reviews   Sun Aug 19, 2012 7:04 pm

http://www.redeyechicago.com/entertainment/tv/redeye-strike-back-review-season-2-cinemax-tv-20120816,0,5609303.story

TV review: 'Strike Back' shoots high with sure aim

By Curt Wagner RedEye

10:05 p.m. CDT, August 16, 2012
"Strike Back" is the smartest action thriller on TV.

As was the case in the series' first season on Cinemax (it began on British TV), British counter-terror unit Section 20 faces down a world of evil-doers, wasting more baddies in one episode than Jack Bauer did in an entire season of "24." But "Strike Back" is much more than well-choreographed firefights and blood-chilling terrorist atrocities. Where it truly excels is in showing the emotional costs paid by the super soldiers doing their jobs and by the witnesses and/or victims of all the mayhem.

As the new season begins (9 p.m. Friday, Cinemax; 4 stars out of 4), Sullivan Stapleton's horny American soldier Damian Scott is now a full-fledged member of Section 20, battling international hoodlums without the help of his buddy Michael Stonebridge, the by-the-book British sergeant played by Philip Winchester. At least initially; when Scott and British diplomat Rachel Dalton (newcomer Rhona Mitra, excellent) are taken hostage by terrorists, Stonebridge comes to the rescue.

And what a rescue it is. (Watch the exclusive scene below.) The series wastes no time diving into the action, swiftly moving from one conflict to the next and pumping up this viewer's adrenaline like nothing else does on TV.

The season sets up a bit of a role reversal for Stonebridge and Scott as the former deals with an unexpected tragedy and the latter works to help him through his roiling emotions. Winchester and Stapleton are superb in roles that could have been simple stereotypes. Both actors practically live in the skin of their characters, giving such subtle and naturalistic portrayals that sometimes a simple nod can speak volumes about what's on their characters' minds.

They handle the quippy banter and, yes, the macho bromantic moments, with aplomb.

When Scott asks why Stonebridge left his safe new job training recruits, not to mention his wife, to risk his life launching the rescue, the sergeant says, "I [bleeping] hate it when you do this."

"What's that?" Scott replies.

"Talk like a grown-up," Stonebridge cracks.

Like FX's "Justified," "Strike Back" it deserves multiple viewings if only to soak up the glorious South African locations that substitute as global hot spots. But the writers also pack each episode with details about the geopolitics of the regions visited; Friday's two-part premiere depicts the lawlessness of Mogadishu and children forced to be soldiers, for example.

The action sequences, too, are so riveting they sometimes obscure the multi-layered characters played with such nuance by the international cast of regulars and guest stars. In the hands of Charles Dance (Tywin Lannister in "Game of Thrones"), Shane Taylor, Said Taghmaoui and Anthony Oseyemi, this season's antagonists are much more than mustache-twirling fiends. They're complicated people who believe, like Scott and Stonebridge, in the righteousness of their mission.

I can't review "Strike Back" without bringing up another asset Stapleton brings to the show. The Australian actor gets his kit off almost once per episode. (There must be a mandate requiring nudity in pay cable series.) But the sex scenes here rarely feel gratuitous, and speak what I mentioned earlier—how soldiers cope with the pressure of their jobs. Stonebridge keeps things locked up tight (or used to, anyway), while Scott acts out through commitment-free sex with pretty much any woman he encounters.

Butts, bullets and brains. It's time to "Strike Back."

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PostSubject: Re: Season 3 reviews   Thu Aug 23, 2012 8:02 pm

http://www.tvguide.com/News/Strike-Gets-Cinemax-1052056.aspx

Strike Back Gets Back in Action!
Michael Schneider
Aug 17, 2012 07:01 AM ET
by Michael Schneider

The Strike Back team had just arrived in Mozambique to kick off shooting this season when they ran into a major problem: As the country faced an uprising by thousands of freedom fighters clutching real RPGs and AK-47s, the government wasn't so sure what to make of the show's crew.

Mozambique officials confiscated passports from the group — including stars Philip Winchester, Sullivan Stapleton and Rhona Mitra (who's new to the show's shadowy special forces unit, Section 20, this season) — and left them stranded in an airport for 12 hours before letting them go. After that, Strike Back hightailed it to South Africa, even though it was too late to change the scripts. "What was supposed to be 27 days in Mozambique on a beach turned into three weeks in the most horrific locations in Cape Town," says Winchester.

That's how it goes on Strike Back, where the action behind the scenes is often as intense as it is on camera. "It's like going to war," says Mitra, who plays Rachel Dalton, new head of Section 20. The results have been dynamite: Last summer the show scored Cinemax's best ratings in six years, and the stars (including Stapleton, who snagged a role in the 300 sequel) were swarmed at Comic-Con.

Early in the new season, Boston Legal alum Mitra gets to handle heavy artillery as she joins the boys in the field. But much to the actress' disappointment, Dalton is soon relegated back to a command post. "Men don't like girls playing with their guns," she says. "If you're a woman on Strike Back, you either get shot or shagged. I'm in a no-man's land."

The new batch of 10 Strike Back episodes also introduces a new threat to Section 20: superwealthy madman Conrad Knox (Game of Thrones' Charles Dance), who threatens to detonate nuclear bombs. The devastation, says Stapleton, "is going to be quite something — unless he gets stopped." We're guessing he does, since there's already talk of a third season of Strike Back. And that's just fine with the show's men-of-war, who can't get enough of the action: "It's hard to stay in character," says Stapleton, "and not smile at each other and scream, 'Holy f---, we get paid to do this!'"

Strike Back returns Friday at 10/9c on Cinemax.

Subscribe to TV Guide Magazine now!

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PostSubject: Re: Season 3 reviews   Thu Aug 23, 2012 8:03 pm

http://thephoenix.com/Boston/recroom/142815-strike-back-blows-shit-up/


Strike Back blows shit up!
Wham-Bam!
By JON GARELICK | August 17, 2012

TV_strikeback12_main
BUDDIES It's a dirty job, but Scott and Stonebridge love it as much as they love each other.

How many post-9/11 action-adventure roller-coaster rides can we take? How many hostage "extractions"? How many just-in-the-nick-of-time rescues from terrorist attacks? How often can we bite our nails in anticipation as one of our heroes blows a bloody hole in the coconut of some bad guy — excuse, me, "neutralizes a terrorist threat"?

Strike Back, which begins its second season on Cinemax this Friday night at 10 pm, is the latest in a long line. Our heroes: "Brutal. Ruthless. Deadly. And they're the good guys." So says the box for the lavish new Blu-ray/DVD set of season 1. This is "Skinemax," of course, so in addition to the beautifully photographed and edited atomized sprays of blood and the particularly satisfying simulations of exploding head-shot exit wounds, there's also abundant T & A, with plenty of male A tossed into the equation.

The story follows the British military's Section 20 counter-terrorism unit as they pursue various black ops around the globe. It's a "team," but really this is a buddy story. Michael Stonebridge is a stiff-upper-lipped Brit who's trying to hold a marriage together as he fights the irresistible urge to hunt and kill bad guys. And Damien Scott is a disgraced former US Special Forces operative, given a "second chance" to redeem himself in Section 20, and fighting, not very hard, to resist the urge to fuck every woman he meets.

And they're a good team, these two. Played by Philip Winchester, Stonebridge is appropriately hard-jawed. Sullivan Stapleton's Scott has some of the nutty innocence of Lethal Weapon-era Mel Gibson, especially when he makes his mouth and eyes form a perfect "O" as if to ask, "Who, me?" The women, of course, find him irresistible.

Stonebridge and Scott bump from episode to episode, country to country, fighting, fucking, blowing away bad dudes. The barrage of explosions and ambushes over the course of the season could have become tiresome, but our guys were after a supervillain, and one expertly turned cliff-hanger after another kept us on his trail with them. What's more, as Stonebridge and Scott galloped from one continent to the next, they racked up one failure after another. The seventh episode's classic hostage extraction, flight, and pursuit through Kosovo was a kind of turning point, leading to a near-classic tragedy in the season finale: a morally compromised Section 20 team member redeemed by paying the ultimate price to save the day.

Season 2 promises an equally satisfying arc. Whereas previously we'd been trying to prevent the release of toxic gas, now we're in pursuit of a half-dozen nuclear triggers, nestled like giant, magic ben wa balls in their little traveling case, and hauled across every war-torn country in Africa. There's another villainous mastermind, this time played by esteemed British character actor Charles Dance, and a tired but determined whisper-voiced American mercenary and his super-hot chick sharpshooter sidekick. There's a wise, mythic Muslim, a kind of Charon the ferryman, who speaks in aphorisms ("I have a shroud for everyone"). And there's a shrewd and beautiful female Taureg chieftain who, underneath her flowing blue robes, wears leather pants, a leather halter-top, and packs a .45.

So where does Strike Back fall in the scale of post-9/11 anti-terror series? Let's say it splits the difference between the relentless clockwork of 24 and the grim homefront protectors of MI-5, except not as good as either. But Strike Back has its cartoonish pleasures — from those superb headshots nailed with handguns from moving vehicles, to the LOL cat-style subtitles. And there is always the abiding love between Stonebridge and Scott. "I complete you," Scott tells his buddy. He's joking, but not really.

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PostSubject: Re: Season 3 reviews   Thu Aug 23, 2012 8:04 pm

http://www.buzzfocus.com/2012/08/21/strike-back-season-2-deadlier-personal-threats-grab-your-gut-thrills-abound/


Strike Back Season 2: Deadlier, Personal Threats & Grab-Your-Gut Thrills Abound

by Bags Hooper on August 21, 2012 ·

The boys are back in town.

Strike Back ended its first season on Cinemax by throwing caution out the window and blowing it up. It was a finale that made this show one of the best new series of 2011. However, after the tumultuous closing events, it left fans with several questions.

After deciding to leave Section 20 to raise a family, how would Stonebridge (Philip Winchester) be brought back into the fold? What would happen to the secret MI6 group following last year’s exposed conspiracy? Who would be the new head of Section 20? Now that the conspiracy and Latif, terrorist threat is over and done with, what would be the new story arc to lead us through the 2012 season? Which woman would be next to catch Scott’s (Sullivan Stapleton) wandering eye?

The series returned for its second go-round in the US with a familiar opening. Shit hits the fan. Cue awesome opening sequence and “I know where you’re – coming from…” music.

“For Now You’re on your own” – Maj. Oliver Sinclair (Rhashan Stone)

Scott’s returns, now the field-lead for Section 20. He places a call to Stonebridge, who now runs a training program for up and coming soldiers, before events inevitably turn from good-to-bad-to-worse. These two may have only known each other for a short time, but their voyage to take down Latif in “Project Dawn” has made them the best of friends. It also reminds us that the bromance is alive and well between these two seasoned vets.

We’re introduced to Rachel Dalton (Rhona Mitra), a mysterious woman who we know will eventually be a key character in Section 20’s future. The question remains, what does her presence bode for the team?

Unfortunately, when Scott and Dalton are hit by a surprise attack on a routine escort mission, we’re thrust into our next two-part mission.

The two-part mission into Somalia starts off show, but heats up in unexpected ways by the end of the first episode. Stonebridge’s life goes into a whirlwind and he inevitably reconnects with Scott. Julia Richmond (Michelle Lukes) also makes her way out into the field, showing off her curvaceous body.

Strike Back has always been about pushing these characters in unexpected directions, while testing their emotional fortitude. In “Project Dawn”, Stonebridge started off as a simple, good soldier – always obeying orders, while Scott was the mystery man. Stonebridge’s life quickly spiraled out of control when Kate died. Scott, however, began to find redemption from his shrouded past and the Trojan Horse setup that left him booted from Delta Force.

The new season pushes Stonebridge down an even darker path. Try as he might to be the good solider, things never work out as planned. In Scott’s case, the years following Delta Force come into question. It will potentially strain the bromance between these two characters.

This season adds in multiple long-term threats. Whereas last season focused on the singular threat of Latif, this season features religious extremists, potential threats from the military private sector in the form of Craig Hanson (Shane Taylor), internal struggles within Section 20 and Charles Dance. Yes, the Lannister head of house from Game of Thrones shows up to represent the big business involvement in war crimes. Dance also delivers one of his trademark, captivating monologues. It makes you wonder just what his involvement will be in this season and what the consequences will be for Section 20.

Scott and Stonebridge still show off their humor in the oddest times. Bullets may be whizzing by, but these two will find a way to talk about life outside of work. They are human after all.

In one instance, Rachel tells Scott and Stonebridge to cut the Laurel and Hardy routine. Stonebridge doesn’t miss a beat, saying to Scott, “You know what that means, she thinks your fat.” Outside of the obvious humor in the line, Stonebridge is also admitting to be the Laurel character by calling Scott the Hardy character. Great moments like this briefly diffuse a dire situation only to plunge viewers back into a tenser situation.

This season of Strike Back has the potential to edge out “Project Dawn.” Deadlier, personal threats and grab-your-gut thrills are on the horizon for 2012.

First Two Episodes Rating:
9 / 10

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PostSubject: Re: Season 3 reviews   Thu Aug 23, 2012 8:13 pm

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10000872396390444812704577606803477120894.html

Nitty-Gritty Bang Bang

By NANCY DEWOLF SMITH

The Cinemax series "Strike Back" is what every woman assumes every man wants to watch: Noisy, nonstop action in which heavily armed good guys—in this case British and American special forces—parachute into foreign countries and mow down assorted thugs and terrorists like bowling pins, stopping only for the occasional 60-second romp with a panting vixen in a tight black T-shirt and camouflage pants.

Fridays, 10 p.m. on Cinemax

Which is not to say that you must be a man to get anything out of "Strike Back." It never stands still long enough to bore and some scenes, especially one with fantastically attired Tuareg warriors in the Sahara, are gorgeous. In addition, most of the vixens, including the boss of the secretive Section 20 counterterrorism squad at the center of things, are raven-haired—uplifting news for all brunettes in a series that wrote the book on instant gratification and other ultimate male fantasies.

An exception to the hair rule is the blond CIA agent who rescues and then imprisons a U.S. soldier she used to date. Now she's grilling him in an interrogation chair in some forlorn terror town in the Maghreb while the dust from an F-16 bombing raid still glitters in the air: "You left Manila without saying goodbye," she accuses. "Three years later I get a call from Mogadishu."

Don't you hate it when that happens?

The first season of the show, in 2011, included locations in Iraq and Afghanistan. When the action picked up again this month things had changed. Section 20 is now chasing bad guys around Africa, starting in Somalia and heading toward South Africa, on the trail of some stolen nuclear triggers. (Before Friday's new episode at 10 p.m. on the Max channel, last week's opening episode will be rerun on MoreMax at 8:30 p.m.)

From their situation room, and using satellite eyes-in-the-sky and other techno-wizardry (that one hopes is real), Section 20's experts can spy on nearly everyone in the world. They also seem to have at their fingertips arcana such as the layout of flyblown hotels in Niger and the bus schedules to Algeria.

Once a target is identified, no screen time is wasted on travel. The next thing we see is the special-forces team already on the ground in another exotic locale, sneaking toward a suspect's lair, assault rifles at the ready, laser sights sweeping the scenery. This typically includes crowds of angry locals, who do not react well to the sudden appearance of Western combatants waving enormous rifles and yelling, "Friendly! Friendly!"

Two star combatants are the British special-forces sargent, Michael Stonebridge (Philip Winchester), a classic soldier who's steady as a rock except when he flashes back to the assassination of his wife. The American counterpart to Stonebridge's straight man is Damien Scott (Sullivan Stapleton), a swaggering wisecracker who gets the girls during convenient lulls in firefights.

Look for the episode where these two follow the nuclear-trigger trail into the desert and team up with those heroic Tuareg fighters. Featuring a captivating female leader—in Berber nomad society only the men are veiled, often with the indigo dyed cloth that stains their skin blue—a firelight wrestling match and swirling, costumed action, the Tuareg sequences are magical. When the Islamists attack, though, what began like "Jewel of the Nile" ends like "Zulu," as our boys and the Berbers shoot down wave upon wave of charging Arab fanatics.

And so the series goes, exploding with grenades, bombs, bullets, and now and then the flash of a bare male bottom or jutting (female) breasts, as the team hunts for those pesky triggers. Fun even when it's ludicrous, forgivable when the clichés fly—well, I could tell you what happens next but then I'd have to kill you.
***

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PostSubject: Re: Season 3 reviews   Thu Aug 23, 2012 8:15 pm

http://www.hitfix.com/whats-alan-watching/review-cinemaxs-strike-back-returns-still-kicking-butt-and-taking-names

Review: Cinemax's 'Strike Back' returns, still kicking butt and taking names

Rhona Mitra joins the fun as Stonebridge and Scott reunite for more action

By Alan Sepinwall Thursday, Aug 16, 2012 3:00 PM

Early in the new season of Cinemax's action drama "Strike Back" (it returns tomorrow night at 10), soldier Damien Scott is asked how an American wound up as a key member of a British special forces unit.

"It's a long story," he says.

"But is it a good story?" he's asked.

"Nope," he replies. "Just long."

It's an in-joke for fans of the series' first Cinemax season(*), which explained exactly how the reckless Scott (Sullivan Stapleton) came to work for Section 20 alongside straight-laced English soldier Michael Stonebridge (Philip Winchester). But the exchange also nicely sums up the philosophy of "Strike Back." It's a show without pretensions. It knows exactly what it is — a straightforward blend of action and sex designed to appeal to people who already subscribed to Cinemax for one or both of those things — and doesn't apologize for that, but simply aspires to be the best version of itself that it can be. It is, as I realized midway through last season, much better than it has any need to be.

(*) "Strike Back" technically debuted on the UK's Sky1 in 2010. Cinemax partnered up with Sky for the following season, which introduced a whole new cast of characters but occasionally referenced people and events from the UK-only season. So for American viewers, we're entering the show's second season; for Brits, this will be the third.

It is, first and foremost, an action show about two men who are among the very best in the world at what they do — at one point, a terrorist complains that Scott and Stonebridge have each received roughly $6 million worth of training, while his own men's training cost only whatever it cost to buy their bullets — and "Strike Back" repeatedly illustrates their skills in exciting ways. The various gun, knife and fistfights — and, in one case, an ax fight — may not match up to what you see in "The Expendables 2," but they're among the best I've ever seen on the small screen, and Stapleton and Winchester carry themselves incredibly well throughout these sequences.

The series also makes terrific use of its international locations, this season using its South African production based to double for a number of other countries. In one episode, Stonebridge has a bare-chested wrestling match with a Tuareg nomad in a ring of fire in the middle of the desert, and it's the best-looking shot you'll see on television this summer that's not on "Breaking Bad."

Speaking of exposed flesh, there's an unwritten rule that Stapleton and one of the female guest stars must get naked once per episode — this is, after all, the channel with the long-standing nickname "Skinemax." But the sex scenes never feel as shoehorned in as they do on, say, a number of Starz's original dramas. There's a tradition of action heroes having sex in between all the killing, after all, and on occasion the suggestion that Scott does it to cope with a lifestyle where he could be brutally killed at any moment rings true, and not just as a transparent excuse for more nudity.

It's in dealing with the emotional toll of the job where "Strike Back" really earns its money, in fact. If it were just a collection of well-choreographed explosions and gunfire, it would still be an entertaining watch. But there's a genuine effort made to show the impact of all this mayhem on both the men perpetuating it and the people who are witnesses and/or victims to it. The shootouts look cool, but Scott, Stonebridge and the people they encounter across the globe — including their new colleague, Rachel Dalton, played well by Rhona Mitra — don't just shrug off the violence. Wherever Section 20 visits (the season's early episodes are set in Somalia and Algeria), there's at least lip service paid to the geopolitics of the area, and the characters who get caught up in the action are sketched out enough so that you feel something when they either die or improbably survive.

The season sets up something of an emotional role reversal for Scott and Stonebridge, and also gets some self-aware comic mileage out of everything they've been through. Sooner or later in almost every story, one of them is taken prisoner and has to be freed by the other; when Stonebridge is the rescuer in one early episode, he and Scott get into an argument over who's saved the other more.

The series uses an interlocking story structure, with a collection of two-part episodes that function on their own as well-crafted low-budget action movies (Cinemax is airing the first two episodes together on Friday to make this clear, with one per week after that), but which combine to tell a larger story. Here, the pieces include Dalton's takeover of Section 20, an amoral South African businessman played by Charles Dance (Tywin Lannister from "Game of Thrones"), the reason Scott left America, and Stonebridge's attempt to deal with a major personal setback.

I've only seen the first four hours, but if last season is any guide, the picture should cohere nicely by the end — and inevitably involve a fireball in the distance while Scott and Stonebridge take aim at a few dozen attackers.

Alan Sepinwall may be reached at sepinwall@hitfix.com

---

Also, here's an exclusive clip from the premiere, in which Scott gets to observe Rachel Dalton in action:

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PostSubject: Re: Season 3 reviews   Thu Aug 23, 2012 10:27 pm

http://www.flavorwire.com/319967/the-10-best-tv-shows-on-networks-youre-not-watching#2

The 10 Best TV Shows on Networks You’re Not Watching
by Michelle Rafferty. Posted on 2:30 pm Monday Aug 20, 2012

When we say “go for the cinematography” we actually mean it. After a successful run in the UK, the channel otherwise known as Skinemax partnered with Sky to produce a second and now third series of this explosive terrorist takedown romp, largely filmed across the diverse South African terrain. To give you a better idea of the show’s speed, we refer you to a recent interview with leading man Philip Winchester (Sgt. Michael Stonebridge): “We were driving around the main streets in Cape Town without a lock-off, and stuff blowing up, and shooting guns out the window, and you’re flying around in helicopters — I don’t think you’d be allowed to do that anywhere else in the world.” Or, just check out the teaser above.

That said, we’d be remiss not to note that the show does live up to channel standards, specifically the skin and sex variety. If any of this sounds mildly appealing, check out the season premiere over at Cinemax right now.

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PostSubject: Re: Season 3 reviews   Fri Aug 31, 2012 1:12 pm

http://www.seattlepi.com/entertainment/tv/tvguide/article/Strike-Back-Gets-Back-in-Action-3795459.php

Strike Back Gets Back in Action!
By Michael Schneider, TV GUIDE
Published 4:47 a.m., Friday, August 17, 2012

The Strike Back team had just arrived in Mozambique to kick off shooting this season when they ran into a major problem: As the country faced an uprising by thousands of freedom fighters clutching real RPGs and AK-47s, the government wasn't so sure what to make of the show's crew.

Mozambique officials confiscated passports from the group - including stars Philip Winchester, Sullivan Stapleton and Rhona Mitra (who's new to the show's shadowy special forces unit, Section 20, this season) - and left them stranded in an airport for 12 hours before letting them go. After that, Strike Back hightailed it to South Africa, even though it was too late to change the scripts. "What was supposed to be 27 days in Mozambique on a beach turned into three weeks in the most horrific locations in Cape Town," says Winchester.

That's how it goes on Strike Back, where the action behind the scenes is often as intense as it is on camera. "It's like going to war," says Mitra, who plays Rachel Dalton, new head of Section 20. The results have been dynamite: Last summer the show scored Cinemax's best ratings in six years, and the stars (including Stapleton, who snagged a role in the 300 sequel) were swarmed at Comic-Con.

Early in the new season, Boston Legal alum Mitra gets to handle heavy artillery as she joins the boys in the field. But much to the actress' disappointment, Dalton is soon relegated back to a command post. "Men don't like girls playing with their guns," she says. "If you're a woman on Strike Back, you either get shot or shagged. I'm in a no-man's land."

The new batch of 10 Strike Back episodes also introduces a new threat to Section 20: superwealthy madman Conrad Knox (Game of Thrones' Charles Dance), who threatens to detonate nuclear bombs. The devastation, says Stapleton, "is going to be quite something - unless he gets stopped." We're guessing he does, since there's already talk of a third season of Strike Back. And that's just fine with the show's men-of-war, who can't get enough of the action: "It's hard to stay in character," says Stapleton, "and not smile at each other and scream, 'Holy f---, we get paid to do this!'"

Strike Back returns Friday at 10/9c on Cinemax.

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PostSubject: Re: Season 3 reviews   Sun Sep 02, 2012 5:32 pm

http://www.highlighthollywood.com/2012/08/29/cinemas-hit-show-strike-backs-september-synopses-look-for-more-action-and-might-highlight-hollywood-news/#more-19684

Cinemax’s Hit Show ‘Strike Back’s’ September Synopses, Look For More Action And Might, Highlight Hollywood News
August 29, 2012 Tommy Lightfoot Garrett

On Wednesday morning Cinemax and HBO released the September synopses for Cinemax network’s “Strike Back,” which returns for a new season of high and intense drama, intrigue and military might. STRIKE BACK is a CINEMAX Presentation in association with British Sky Broadcasting Limited; a Left Bank Pictures Production; executive producers, Andy Harries for Left Bank and Huw Kennair-Jones for Sky; co-executive producer, Tony Saint; series producer, Michael Casey.

# 15

Debut: FRIDAY, SEPT. 7 (10:00-10:50 p.m. ET/PT)
Other CINEMAX playdates: Sept. 7 (11:30 p.m.), 8 (9:00 p.m., 11:45 p.m.), 9 (noon), 10 (11:40 p.m.), 11 (12:15 a.m.) and 12 (8:00 p.m.)

After stealing the nuclear triggers from Stonebridge (Philip Winchester) and Scott (Sullivan Stapleton) in remote Algeria, Knox’s (Charles Dance) task man Karl Matlock (Vincent Regan) and sniper Jessica Kohl (Natalie Becker) resurface in a seemingly unrelated Capetown kidnapping. Section 20 discovers interesting information about Peter Evans (Paul Freeman), the victim’s father, who has mysteriously flown to Capetown. A new third party interferes with the mission and both Scott and Stonebridge make costly mistakes.
Directed by Julian Holmes; written by Richard Zajdlic.

Episode #16
Debut: FRIDAY, SEPT. 14 (10:00-10:50 p.m.)
Other CINEMAX playdates: Sept. 14 (11:30 p.m.), 15 (9:00 p.m., 11:45 p.m.), 16 (1:30 p.m.), 17 (midnight), 18 (12:05 a.m.) and 19 (8:00 p.m.)
Stonebridge and Scott confide in each other about their mistakes – Stonebridge’s desire for revenge on Craig Hanson (Shane Taylor), who has appeared in Capetown, and Scott’s connection with Rebecca (Lyne Renée), a Mossad agent tracking their case, but with very different orders from theirs. Knox takes Evans to a secret facility, where he reveals how he plans to make Africa a world power. Stonebridge befriends Knox’s idealistic daughter, Ava (Olivia Grant), who runs their foundation and weapons decommissioning program.
Directed by Julian Holmes; written by Richard Zajdlic.

Episode #17
Debut: FRIDAY, SEPT. 21 (10:00-10:50 p.m.)
Other CINEMAX playdates: Sept. 21 (11:30 p.m.), 22 (9:00 p.m., 11:30 p.m.), 23 (12:30 p.m.), 24 (12:15 a.m.), 25 (midnight) and 26 (8:00 p.m.)
Now working covertly without South African government permission and with limited resources, the team looks for a reason Knox would break opposition political leader Walter Lutulu (Eamonn Walker) out of a Zimbabwe prison. They try to track him through his respected activist daughter, Lilian (Tracy Ifeachor), as authorities from the currentpolitical regime also look for her. A familiar face offers his unique skills to Knox, who uses his government influence to apply pressure to Section 20.
Directed by Michael Bassett; written by John Simpson.

Episode #18
Debut: FRIDAY, SEPT. 28 (10:00-10:50 p.m.)
Other CINEMAX playdates: Sept. 28 (11:30 p.m.), 29 (9:00 p.m., 11:30 p.m.) and 30(noon), and Oct. 2 (11:40 p.m.)
Fueled by the Lutulu shooting, community unrest continues to spread through South Africa and north to Zimbabwe. Trapped in an isolated police station, Stonebridge questions the shooter and looks for a safe escape. Scott and Lilian take her father to the hospital and are pursued by other assassins. Knox and a surprise ally discuss a new plan.
Directed by Michael Bassett; written by John Simpson.
For more on the series, please visit facebook.com/cinemax, twitter.com @Cinemax #StrikeBack and youtube.com/Cinemax.
You can follow us at www.twitter.com/HighlightHwd.

Written By: Tommy Lightfoot Garrett
Photographs are Courtesy: CINEMAX
Follow us on Twitter @HighlightHwd or

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PostSubject: Re: Season 3 reviews   Mon Sep 03, 2012 12:31 pm

http://unpopcult.wordpress.com/

Strike Back: Vengeance ep 1
September 3, 2012 CJ Cregg

Our heroes ended the last season on the verge of taking a bro break, so the beginning of this one finds them apart and missing each other desperately. Aw.

Scott’s in Kenya, trying to transport a couple of British diplomats and their asset. Being Strike Back, everything that can go wrong does; the Scott-meister does his best, but, without his wingman Stonebridge, he’s outmanned, outgunned and, um, a wee bit lonely, so his charges end up kidnapped and he ends up in the suds when he tries to rescue them.

Stoney, meanwhile, is stuck back in Blighty, ignoring his unspeakably tiresome wife and teaching at an SAS training camp. His heart’s back in the field with Scotty, though, you can tell. So, after a training exercise with live ammunition (how can that EVER be a good idea?) goes horribly wrong, the news that his bezzie mate’s in trouble in Somalia gives him the best reason to get out of town ever. Especially since Scott is a lot more fun than the Mrs, if you don’t mind dodging a hail of bullets every couple of scenes. Boys will be boys!

That’s essentially it, to be honest: the bros are back, as are the bullets and the er, boobs, although keeping the female nudity count down to a single laughably unerotic sex scene in the whole ep seems almost restrained for this show, given last season’s shenanigans. Progress? Let’s not get too excited; the women in the show remain entirely interchangeable and almost wholly decorative, with the only ones who even get a name this time around being Rhona Mitra’s Rachel because she’s up to something shifty, and Mrs Stonebridge, aka, Victoria, because she’s always trying to break up the bromance. Tsk. Girls, eh?

Sigh. But then I wasn’t really expecting anything different from Vengeance. As far as this version of Strike Back goes (and it’s so far removed from the Richard Armitage season now, it might as well be called “Strike Back: But Not The One You’re Thinking Of”) this episode was ok. The dialogue was functional, the stunts were fine and Scott and Stonebridge’s bond held it all together. If you like utterly mindless action bromance, you might like this. If you don’t, you’ll hate it. Me, I’m somewhere in between.

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