Review: 'Leverage'


TNT Original Series Leverage

Sunday, Dec. 7, 10 p.m. ET

The Robin Hood story has always been appealing to the big screen and small screen alike, and TNT's Leverage puts another spin on the oft-told tale of a band of thieves doing good deeds.

The show centers on Nate Ford (Timothy Hutton, Ordinary People), a former hotshot insurance investigator whose company denied the money that would have saved his son's life. After leaving the company, he spends most of his time trying to relieve his grief with alcohol.

The first episode finds Ford in this state. He is approached by an aeronautics executive seeking to recover airplane plans he claims were stolen from him. He's assembled a team of crack thieves but needs Ford — who, in his former life, caught all of them — to focus them.

The lineup includes: thief Parker (Beth Riesgraf); hacker Alec Hardison (Aldis Hodge); muscle Eliot Spencer (Christian Kane); and grifter Sophie Devereaux (Gina Bellman). All are used to working alone and it is up to Ford to weave their disparate personalities and styles into a cohesive unit.

Over the first two episodes, they discover that working together is not such a bad thing and that helping the little guy is not such a bad goal.

Cable has revisited the thief-buddy genre often in the past few years. Leverage calls to mind AMC's Hustle and FX's Thief, to name two. But co-executive producer Dean Devlin (The Patriot and TNT's The Librarian movies) decided to channel the 2001 rendition of Ocean's Eleven and its sequels, borrowing much of its style from those movies. Leverage falls short of that high mark, not quite delivering the same slickness and quirkiness.

Leverage is not without its charm, though. While it may not have Ocean's star power, it is still a fun watch and it never hurts to see corrupt politicians and heartless corporations get their comeuppance.

The show will move to its regular Tuesday 10 p.m. time slot on Dec. 9