Our worries that Strike Back: Origins would not be well received in the U.S. because of its more serious tone, turns out to be unfounded. The reviews have been from good to excellent. So far, anti-Americanism has not been much of an issue – but we should be mindful that this first episode and the second, isn’t as anti-American as the last two episodes which take place in Afghanistan. But by then, viewers will be hooked.
Armitage Agonistes investigative reporter KatharineD ferreted out this review by Hot Extract , a website dedicated to commenting on films, TV and games in the military genre with a focus on authenticity. The review doesn’t fall squarely into the goal of Servetus’s Me and Richard ( 2 posts) and my own recent reports of reviews – which is to see how Origins has been received here in the U.S. compared to the American version, because this review was issued in June based on the DVD and looks at the entire series. Nevertheless, it is worth reading and has the added bonus of reviewing Richard Amitage’s performance, which the reviewer characterizes as expert.
Richard Armitage plays John Porter, and he does it expertly. He is the consummate broken operator: detached, reticent, a shell of his former self haunted by past decisions. His character is dynamic, going from this shell to somebody driven by revenge and then finally somebody seeking to clear his name and driven by redemption. Armitage is no Schwarzenegger, and in fact looks like a regular man, which helps to defeat the stereotype that all special operators are would-be NFL linebackers. We see a range of emotion from Armitage in the Porter role, from cold and detached to warm and compassionate, from broken and depressed to rage coursing through his veins. He is a celebrated actor in the UK (particularly for his stint on the show Spooks/MI-5) and while watching Strike Back, you’ll see why.