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‘The Brave’ review: New NBC military drama is cliche, predictable

Mike Vogel in a scene from "The Brave,"

Mike Vogel in a scene from "The Brave," premiering Monday, Sept. 25, on NBC. Credit: NBC / Virginia Sherwood

THE SERIES “The Brave”

WHEN | WHERE Premieres Monday at 10 p.m. on NBC/4

WHAT IT’S ABOUT The special ops team members on “The Brave” don’t have lives. They have missions.

Their first one for NBC, filmed fancy in Morocco, is to retrieve an American doctor-without-borders, just abducted from a Mideast battleground by terrorists. Like TV’s original impossible missions team of the ’60s, these heroes expect no cavalry to rescue them. “We are the cavalry,” boasts their square-jawed commander (Mike Vogel).

He’s got a United Nations of well-armed military talent behind him — the black communications guy they call Preach (Demetrius Grosse), the multilingual woman sniper (Natacha Karam), the two-fisted medic (Noah Mills), the requisite “new guy” (Hadi Tabbal) — plus those D.C. analysts spouting split-second info through earpieces (led by Anne Heche’s hard-nosed boss).

MY SAY As the first of this fall’s three new special-ops dramas, “The Brave” is far from the worst (not with CBS’ snooze-inducing “SEAL Team” coming Wednesday and CW’s soapy conspiracy “Valor” due Oct. 9). The team’s worry that “we’re outmanned, we’re outgunned” seems silly, considering the mass of cutting-edge tech they tote. But the pilot script considers itself grunt literature, firing off fusillades of glib chatter (“All right, I got a plan, it’s risky, but as far as I’m concerned, we didn’t come this far . . . ” yada yada).

At least TV’s old Iron Curtain-era “Mission: Impossible” had terse style, with its signature mix of arch wit, irony and clockwork cutting. “The Brave” has cliches, firepower, talk-trimming graphics, and subtitles to seem more “real” than foreign enemies speaking English.

BOTTOM LINE Capable enough time-killer, but nothing compelling.

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