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Manhunters: Fugitive Task Force DVD SET

A&E Video // Unrated // October 27, 2009
List Price: $24.95 [Buy now and save at Amazon]

Review by Danny Cox | posted March 23, 2010 | E-mail the Author
The Series

Call me strange or odd or weird, but watching real-life series that depict people being brought to justice is something that just makes me smile. I don't care if the people getting what they deserve are poor or handicapped or on drugs or anything else because they broke the law and need to be given all they have coming to them. Manhunters: Fugitive Task Force is a series that allows me to have that morbid sense of satisfaction come true on a weekly basis because it lets me see people being tracked down like animals on a hunting safari and brought forth so they can serve their time. Maybe it's just because being a manhunter or cop or detective is a position that isn't something I was meant to be but always wanted to be...who knows? It's still a lot of fun to watch.

The U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force is a team of some of the most hard-hitting men and women out there making sure to keep the streets of America clean. As a unit they are considered to be "manhunters," which is to coin a phrase very lightly. They certainly don't hunt down and kill anyone (unless absolutely necessary), but they do whatever it takes to track down the fugitives they are looking for and bring them to justice. Included in the Task Force are members of different local, federal, and state agencies that are allowed to cross state lines and jurisdictions in order to apprehend their targets. Sometimes it really doesn't matter who or what stands in their way because together they have the power and abilities to track down some of the most dangerous people on the streets and put them behind bars.

COPS has been on the air since I was a child and it has long been a show that can take away hours of my day or weekend no matter what has to be done. Manhunters is like that series in some ways but takes it not just one but many steps further. One of my favorite things about the series is that the Task Force holds nothing back and can actually get rather violent at times. Call me sinister or just a typical male, but there is something really awesome about a door being broken down by sheer force and some low-life fugitive being tackled hard to the ground by a bulky cop. That isn't all you get though while watching Manhunters because there is so much more to their job that a lot of civilians may not realize. Before even getting into the vans and trucks to search the streets; the team gets together and looks for leads and information that may steer them in the right direction. Let it be known that they also have to make sure they're fully prepared because who knows when a fugitive could have a posse or barrage of weapons to attack anyone that gets near him. It's a dangerous job that needs to be taken seriously without skipping even the smallest of steps.

Be prepared that some episodes may be a little dull here and there if they can't find any information or really can't get a lead on the fugitive they're searching for but it's all part of the job. It's nice that A&E lets their series showcase not just successes but failures as well because it keeps things as realistic as possible. Season one is fun for more reasons though since we're being introduced to the team and can learn a bit more about them. It's a season though that will determine whether this is a series you'll love or hate though because trust me that Manhunters isn't for everyone. The humor and often times idiocy of COPS is not present here since it takes on a more serious tone so be fully aware that this is serious from start to finish. You'll notice that especially in an episode like "Escaped" where the Task Force is seemingly hot on the tail of an escaped convict but he eludes them so much that they feel as if their chasing an apparition sometimes.


Disc One:

~ Third Time's The Charm

~ Roxanne's First Fugitive

~ Hide and Seek (Parts 1 & 2)

~ Valentine's Day Heist

~ Sneaking Back In (Pilot)

~ Pep Takes It Personal

Disc Two:

~ Fingerprints Don't Lie

~ 15 Years Running

~ Timing Is Everything

~ Houdini

~ The Colombian Cartel Doctor

~ On The Stroll

~ The Bronx Boys

Disc Three:

~ Roxy's Sweep

~ Escape

~ Bloods of Newark

~ Wake Up Call

~ With Friends Like These

~ Stake Out



Each episode of Manhunters is presented in 1.33:1 Full Frame format and all comes through nice and well but they aren't necessarily pretty. Be prepared though as the cameras follow the team as they go on calls and they are constantly on the run so you're warned now that there is a lot of "shaky cam" going on. It's not meant to be a beautiful looking series and it isn't, but the transfer to DVD looks good enough.


All the action comes at you in Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo Sound and this is one of the few times I would have enjoyed a television series in surround sound. Everything is fine with the stereo, but the action coming from all around the room would have been fantastic. That would hold especially true when they are busting down a door and raiding a house to find someone hiding in a closet or something.

Extras Extras

Audio Commentary - Only one episode has a track and it is "Third Time's A Charm." Commander Lenny DePaul, Supervisor Tommy Kilbride, and Deputy Michelle Mendez are the three team members that sit down for it and it's a pretty decent listen.

Meet The Task Force - Each member of the team sits down to tell a little about themselves and give information on their background. It's an alright feature but not anything overly exciting. (21:33)

Additional Footage And Interviews - There are a lot more interviews here then additional footage, but that's not really a big deal. It's neat listening to a lot of the team members talk about the weapons they use, the adrenaline rush they get going on busts, and even how it feels being a woman on a team of mostly men. (14:41)

All Said And Done

While this is a series I'd recommend to anyone and everyone; it's obvious while watching that not all parties will enjoy it. You've got to really have an interest in law enforcement and be ready to watch everything that goes on when teams are hunting some of the worst criminals out there with guns blazing. Manhunters is raw and straight from the streets so hope that you don't ever find yourself in one of the episodes on the opposing side. Recommended.

Danny lives in New Orleans with his dog and writes plenty in way of movies, sports, NCIS, Crime TV, and life over at Examiner, IP Movies, and Associated Content. If you're looking to keep up with all he does though, there's always Twitter or Facebook.
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