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Honolulu’s a gritty city in speedy ‘Five-0’ trailer

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It has a wave, the familiar drumbeat and the same neighborhood deja vu—Is that my auntie’s street?—but the CBS remake of Hawaii’s most beloved TV series is not your father’s Five-0.

The network recently released an online trailer of the highly anticipated remake, and if that fast-paced glimpse is any indication of what’s ahead, then fans of McGarrett and Co. had better buy some Kevlar and buckle up.

Bullets fly freely, things blow up with flourish and the action takes place in a gritty version of Honolulu.

The trailer, which is nearly four minutes long, is the third look at the new "Hawaii Five-0" released by CBS since it announced in May that it had picked up the series. A behind-the-scenes look and a version of the famous episode intro were the initial visual offerings for the pilot shot here in March.

The online trailer offers a full-throttle look at the crime drama.

To be sure, a trailer can be a relentless effort to cram the visuals into a short amount of time, but the camera angles change at a finger snap and the action keeps the show’s stars on the edge of chaos. Blink and you could miss someone getting flattened by a tractor-trailer.

Honolulu Film Commissioner Walea Constantinau has seen some of the online offerings and dubbed them "fantastic."

"I am just really excited about it," she said. "You can already tell that there is this tremendous respect for the property that ‘Hawaii Five-0’ was in the past. But you can see there is a tremendous energy and creativity for what it is going to be in the future."

The new "Five-0" has what TV critics have already called a budding bromance—the relationship between the new McGarrett, played by Alex O’Loughlin, and his sidekick Danno Williams, played by Scott Caan. The pair give the show a rumpled, unshaven look, and their banter is quick, sarcastic and funny.

The actors probably don’t realize it, but they owe a big mahalo to the wardrobe department for not making them wear a suit and tie in the tropics.

In the original version of "Five-0," which aired from 1968 to 1980, the duo was played by Jack Lord and James MacArthur. They were by the book, their collars as heavily starched as their personalities.

Not everyone is impressed with the new look, though. Glenn Cannon, who had a recurring role on the first series as Attorney General John Manicote, said the drama felt a bit shallow. It reminded him of the NBC cop show "Miami Vice."

"As far as any originality goes, I see absolutely none," Cannon said. "It is just reminiscent of all the other detective/police shows on the air."

The youthful cast—rounded out by Daniel Dae Kim, late of "Lost," and Grace Park—feel like newbies to police procedure, whereas the cast of the original series came across as seasoned, Cannon said.

But Cannon is hopeful. After all, he’s a fan of "Five-0" and the president of the local chapter of the Screen Actors Guild.

"We’re hopeful that the series will be more compelling and deal more thoughtfully with characters than the trailer indicates," he said. "And, of course, utilize local actors."

CBS expects to begin shooting episodes on July 15 and will premiere the series in September in the 9 p.m. time slot on Monday nights.

Mike Gordon is the Star-Advertiser’s film and television writer. His "Outtakes" column appears Sundays. E-mail him at


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