I will probably make a lot of people feel old but aside from the theme song and the famous line “Book ‘em Danno” I know nothing about Hawaii 5-0. That’s why I was reluctant to watch the pilot for the reboot of the show on CBS, I figured there was no way the story could translate well to the audiences of 2010, but boy was I wrong! Hawaii 5-0 is a slick actioner with hilarious characters, some strong chemistry between stars Alex O’Loughlin and Scott Caan, and the gorgeous vistas of Hawaii to keep audiences, old and young, entertained.
After his father is murdered Detective Steve McGarrett (O’Loughlin) returns to home to Hawaii to track down his killer. Once there he’s teamed up with Detective Danny Williams (Caan) and reunites with old friend Detective Chin Ho Kelly (Daniel Dae Kim). The trio of men, alongside Kelly’s cousin Kona (Grace Park), gather evidence to find the murderer of McGarrett’s father, and take a vicious human trafficker.
As mentioned above I went into this show clean and I had a ball. From the opening scenes the series plays like something out of a Michael Bay movie, which is interesting considering the pilot is directed by Underworld director Len Wiseman. We follow Detective McGarrett as he’s not only forced to find his dad’s killer, but also return to a place he never thought he’d see. O’Loughlin is definitely good-looking but he’s also whip-smart and a solid, brooding leading man. Paired up with Caan though is where the heart of this show is. Caan is truly a scene-stealer in the role of Danny Williams. In the pilot a great deal of time is spent with Caan and his daughter who he doesn’t get to spend nearly enough time with. When his child arrives with a live rabbit, courtesy of her stepfather, you just see the pain on the character’s face as his stuffed rabbit pales in comparison. Danny Williams may not have the highly emotional storyline of a lost father like McGarrett, you feel for the father who wants to give his daughter everything but can’t through various circumstances. His scenes with the little girl are adorable and his chemistry with O’Loughlin is great as they’re constantly trying to one-up each other or beat the living crap out of each other. Aside from that you have Kim and Park who are also interesting although not too much is known about them aside from a few throw-away conversations. At this point the show lives and breathes on McGarrett and Williams which is hilarious and well-played. Other than the acting the locations are simply breathtaking and the action is relentless. The opening involves a shoot-out, helicopters and by the end there’s beat-downs and human trafficking. If you’re a fan of thrilling action shows then you’ll love the new Hawaii 5-0.
Since the pilot is meant on establishing the characters there’s really no negatives but in the future it’s unknown if there will be a running plot or more of a crime of the week aspect to the series. Either one has its benefits and disadvantages but if they try to combine both it could prove disastrous as seen in how FOX’s Fringe has had similar trouble.
Either way a person who has never seen an episode of Hawaii 5-0 is now in love with the world of McGarrett and Williams. The acting is fantastic, the chemistry between everyone is electric and it works well at combining the humor with the action. It’s easily comparable to Bad Boys or the Rush Hour series and if you enjoy a little mini-movie every week then you won’t go wrong watching CBS’ new take on Hawaii 5-0.