Luke Evans plays Bambi in Echo 3, which is streaming on Apple TV+ (Picture: Apple TV)
If I was writing an action thriller in which buffed-up Luke Evans and Michiel Huisman go rogue in Colombia in an attempt to free their kidnapped sister/wife from the clutches of political rebels, what would I call their characters?
Something butch such as Joe and Hank maybe? Matt and Jake at a pinch. But never in a million shootouts would I have come up with Bambi and Prince. Yes, really.
To their credit, Evans and Huisman do a good job of not smirking when they have to say each other’s names in-between scowling at each other – these special ops soldiers have history – and figuring out new ways of gunning down the pesky kidnappers.
Calling them Bambi and Prince is, perhaps, Echo 3 creator Mark Boal’s attempt to give this by-the-book action thriller a touch of nuance.
Boal has a proven track record with this kind of embedded action caper, having written The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty. If you’re a fan of those movies, you’ll know where you are here: strong on high-tension action sequences but lower on emotional subtlety.
So while the action hits the road like a sleek Ferrari as Bambi and Prince (sorry, I’m sniggering) get to grips with the Colombian underworld, the dialogue clunks along like a Robin Reliant with a flat tyre.
Luke stars alongside Michiel Huisman (left) in the action thriller (Picture: Apple TV)
‘I do like to do good,’ the kidnapped Amber (Jessica Ann Collins, in a state of permanent anguish) confides to her kidnappers and, heroically, she keeps a straight face.
This is a show that’s all about the what, not the why. We’re not asked to question Bambi and Prince’s decision to go it alone in their rescue attempt, nor should we dig too deep – if at all – into the motivation of the rebels. Echo 3 expects us to hitch along for the ride and, when it hits its stride, the ride is quite a buzz.
But it’s hard to escape the feeling that this would have been better as an adrenaline-pumping two-hour movie. Stretched over ten episodes, Echo 3’s story feels as though it’s repeating itself.
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