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"Dark Angel"
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Reviews & Ratings for
"Dark Angel" More at IMDbPro »

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8 out of 16 people found the following review useful:

Series 1 review - consistently average `thriller'

Author: bob the moo from United Kingdom
3 February 2003

Max is a genetically engineered soldier. From birth she was trained to be a soldier by those at Manticore, however as a child they escaped and spread out. As an adult, Max works as a bicycle express courier in a post-apocalyptic Seattle filled with corruption. She also helps activist `Eyes Only' (Logan) to get information and expose wrong doers and in exchange for him helping her find out where her brothers and sisters have gone. However the sinister force of Manticore led by Lydecker is ever close.

When I watched the pilot for this series I was not too impressed but thought I'd give it a go and stick with it. At several points I thought of giving up but I have stuck with it through to the end of series 1 - which I have just watched. The plot was reasonable despite being weak at the odd time. The basic element surrounding Manticore was always well used but the show often went off into little side plots that were done in one hour where Max helps people etc. It became like a action version of The Littlest Hobo after a while! However the central theme worked well.

As this was aimed at the teen audience the series suffered from lots of unnecessary bits and pieces. Worst of these were the characters at Max's workplace, they are teen stereotypes who talk in clichés and are a little annoying. Original Cindy is sexy but annoying and Herbal and the rest are just poorly used stoners. They add a comic side to the series that it didn't need and doesn't work well as it takes away from the dark thriller side to it.

Generally the writing is good but it is full or holes and doesn't stand up if you take a long hard look at the series, also some episodes are very weak or a little silly. My personal choice for silliest episode in series 1 is where Max is `on heat' supposedly due to her feline DNA! Even when it's good it's not that great but was just about passable enough to keep me watching but only just. As for series 2 I may not stick with it as I noticed the series starting to flag recently.

Alba is pretty good in the lead, but she has the annoying habit of being too cocky - standing with her hand on her hips and her head cocked all the time! She is good looking and pretty sassy but is not a very talented actress - more a nice piece of ass! Weatherly is OK as Logan and is a better actor than the series maybe deserves. Savage is also pretty good as Lydecker but maybe that's because his plots were usually quite good. The support cast are all pretty wooden or are there for comic relief and I found none of them to be of benefit to the series other than attracting a younger audience. Examples of this would be Max's brother who looks just like a bulky Brad Pitt type or the fact that Cindy is a black (tick!) lesbian (tick) and the series makes use of the chance to have her talk about sex as much as possible as well as hooking up with an old girlfriend.

Overall I stuck with this series despite that fact that it never really grabbed me - it was more like a time where I just turned off my brain or did something else at the same time as watching it. There are much better series out there which are aimed at adults or teenagers. At first I thought this series struggled with consistency but I soon realised that this was not the case. No, this series is consistent but the downside is that it is consistently average.

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13 out of 26 people found the following review useful:

May or may not fly

Author: tprofumo from Los Angeles
10 October 2000

I think the jury is still out on this one, but it will be an uphill battle for this show, despite some good numbers for the two hour debute.

"Dark Angel" is the kind of sci-fi I should like, in that it deals with a plausible future and what could be an appealing central character. Unfortunately, we've met these genetically enhanced "perfect soldier" types before, so there's nothing new there. Even her bike messenger day job comes to us out of William Gibson. There's not too much new about the setting, either, although I found the opening explanations of what's going on a little merky.

That was a major problem with the pilot. I wasn't exactly sure who the bad guys were or how many of them were around. Nor was I clear on who exactly the guys where who had created Max and her fellow genetically enhanced kids or what their connection was to the government or the apparently private company Max spent most of her time fighting in the pilot. I hope things get simplified in future episodes.

I was also very unclear on Max's character. TV, of course, is all about character and Max's seemed a little muddled to me. She was this mysterious loner/outsider type who seemed to be everyone's patsy, spending an awful lot of time getting sucked into other people's problems.

There's an old rule of screen writing which says, beware of main characters with no clear goals. Max supposedly wants to find the "others like her," but spent almost no time doing that in the opening show. She was too busy helping out everyone around her. Unless she starts following some clear path, things will get worse. The only way to have a character without some attainable, important goal is to make her a keen observor of what's going on around her, and Max didn't come off that way at all.

All this leads to the heart of the show and the main question. Jessica Alba is as fetching a girl as exists in Hollywood today. I'm sure no small number of teenager boys will tune in just to oggle her in those tight fitting biker outfits.

But can the girl act? I think that question has not yet been answered and subsequent episodes will have to do a lot to prove that. She was adequate in the first, but just barely,

Good luck with this show. I hope it succeeds, but I won't hold my breath.

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30 out of 60 people found the following review useful:

Haven't I seen this plot before?

Author: D'Amico from Canada
14 March 2002

How well I remember the pilot...a little girl named Max escapes from a top-secret government facility where she has been bred specifically to be a super-human. One day, she escapes, but is separated from her 'brother', who she then searches for. It's fascinating to think that what is done in that government facility is possible...and amazing to think that one little girl on her own who has been super-enhanced can escape. Waitaminute...that was the plot of a James Patterson book that came before 'Dark Angel' even hit the screen. Hmm. I guess James Cameron couldn't come up with the idea on his own, or even a name.

The series itself isn't bad. It's not great, but if you don't mind getting mired in to a side-plot, then it's really not bad. The first few episodes of the show were the best, because it was when Max was still concerned about finding out about herself. Then the show seemed to's still well-acted, but some of the writing has suffered. Although it's nice to see that Michael Weatherly ends up romantically involved with yet another of his co-stars.

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34 out of 68 people found the following review useful:

This looks like it may be a very short lived series

Author: NolanSorrento from San Francisco, CA
4 October 2000

I was really hoping this would be a kewl series, the commercials made it look action packed and exciting, to bad they forgot to work on the set design's and costuming, unless you just paid attention to the tight outfits Jessica was wearing thru out the show. The story line was mediocre and it felt like a really bad swipe off of Bladerunner & Soldier (both partly by David Webb Peoples). The costuming was really bad, who dressed the messengers in this movie? Did they really think that a messenger would live in an abandoned building and dress in non-used/beat up/raggedy clothing? Has Wardrobe ever seen a Bike Messenger? What's up with every outfit Sara Rutherds/Max takes off another person? Why do they always fit her when the person she got it off of is at least twice her size (it's the whole Star Trek thing, any outfit will fit Capt. Kirk). The whole set looks like it was designed by the assistant of the set designer of Back to the Future II, it wasn't believable at all, and it didn't look like Seattle in the least bit. This show is bad, and I only recommend it to fans of Hercules, Xena, and WWF.

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54 out of 108 people found the following review useful:

What's the big deal???

Author: alleycat216 (
20 July 2001

There is nothing below the surface in this obvious and shallow show. Yes the stunts are all right, and Jessica Alba sure knows how to pout. But come on, for this she got nominated for a Golden Globe???? When she talks she sounds like a handful of marbles was stuffed in her mouth, (I guess that's supposed to be sexy). And both her and Michael Weatherly's reactions are incredibly planned and fake looking. Their performances would look fine in an Acting 101 class at a community college. It's really quite a shame, because the show had incredible promise. The scenario was good and original, and the scripts aren't half bad. But the horrible casting, which was so obviously based on looks alone, just ruins the rest of the show. But I suppose it does reach a target audience, mainly twenty something guys who drool over Alba, or twelve and thirteen year old girls who giggle over Weatherly. Personally, I'd hate to say this show was the launching point of my career, (sorry Jessica)

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62 out of 124 people found the following review useful:

Silly Show

Author: swlit2001
6 January 2005

The single reason to watch is Jessica Alba. The premise is fine, but the execution is terrible. Consistently poor writing and an absurd structure (does anyone else find the "Jam Pony" scenes strangely reminiscent of Taxi?) make this almost unwatchable. "Eyes Only" is completely ridiculous -- Logan is the ONLY guy that can hack the cable system but no one in this future can trace the hack or identify him even though the broadcasts feature his unaltered voice and a clear view of his retinas? Max's friends seem like they should be in some horrible sitcom, not a sci-fi action show. Actually, it may be that Dark Angel is entirely ironic, in which case it's still bad but at least perversely interesting.

If you want to watch a well-written sci-fi series that was cancelled, check out Firefly.

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70 out of 140 people found the following review useful:

Weird gender-related double standards

Author: Skaven252 from Finland
5 November 2002

Reading what other people have commented on the show, it seems this series is a rather mixed bunch, trying to cater to many audiences but apparently satisfying only few.

Female viewers are offended because Max is pretty and portrayed as such a sex object in every turn, but love the series because watching a girl kick (male) butt strokes their egoes.

Male viewers are offended because almost all the male characters are useless, impotent losers who (deservedly) get insulted and their asses kicked, but love the series for the action, and the hot lead character.


The series has an intentionally controversial message - with nothing substantial to say. It doesn't seem to offer much besides the usual endlessly expandable treadmill of standard cliche plot twists. I lost interest after the first couple of episodes.

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Pretty good with some caveats

Author: jimsboatworks from United States
9 November 2015

This is a pretty good show, great action. It takes place in a dystopian Seattle after a terrorist EMP. The govt has turned up the heat with checkpoints setup across the city. Our heroin Max is basically an opportunistic good guy and cat burglar looking for clues to where her twelve genetically engineered siblings are. It's great original adventure.

What isn't fun is the title theme, fingernails on a chalkboard. The other is they like to flash a lot of posters and t-shirts of the butcher of hundreds of thousands of dissidents, communist and founder of Castro's secret police, Che Guevara. What message the writer is trying to send on the last name of Guevara that Max chooses for herself I don't know. Hardly a good symbol for equality and independence. Despite the political spin this series has, it is still good entertainment.

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2 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

first 15 great then...

Author: Genivieve DeClare from United Kingdom
10 January 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

It becomes preoccupied with the back story and ceases to be fun in the late episodes of season 1. The bloke in the wheel chair become a bore and the whole thing takes itself too seriously. It becomes a boring melodrama. Episodes 1-15 re fun and he rest is filler. At it's best the Dark Angel is out saving the world from evil republican scum despite her obligations to her job as a bicycle messenger and her funny co-workers. 'Original Cindy' and Kendra round out her girl crew. When Kendra departs it all goes to sideways. The character of Kendra was not so compelling as to presage the demise of the show. It's just a benchmark. The show goes seriously wrong when the stories are preoccupied with the past. Really stupid writers and producers are responsible for this programmes demise.

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2 out of 5 people found the following review useful:


Author: Khadija17 from United States
27 June 2008

Dark Angel is a great action packed show with great actors. Jessica Alba did an amazing job as Max and the the show should have gone on. It was an amazing show and had a great run. It's too bad it had end so soon, if the person who declared that he didn't like Science fiction then why was he helping to write a Science fiction show? I can't think of a better person who could've portrayed Max or any of the characters any better. And reading other peoples comments I honestly don't understand why they are so fixed on criticizing Jessica Alba so badly. I mean she's a great actress and the rest of the cast are all great as well. I never noticed any so much mumbling I mean if you can understand them then so what. And the times are obviously real rough and you can't expect them to be all upbeat and happy all the time. The story was very intriguing and the action was off the chain. Eyes only was a good idea and very cool. It was sad that Logan and Max had such a screwed up relationship. They were such a cute couple.

All in all a great show that will be missed.

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