Buddy cop drama Bulletproof is a tonally confused action comedy that can’t quite work out what sort of show it wants to be. What begins as a parodical, comedic ride through London quickly devolves into a generic, cliché riddled action blockbuster that doesn’t do enough to differentiate itself from other crime dramas or comedies out there. The duo at the heart of this action comedy can’t quite pull off the charismatic chemistry needed to get you invested in their characters resulting in quite the lacklustre affair across this 6 episode adventure.
The story begins at breakneck speed with partners Aaron Bishop (Noel Clarke) and Ronnie Pike (Ashley Walters) who are tasked with infiltrating a crime ring who are stealing luxury cars in London. What ensues is a dizzying array of car chases, stake-outs, gun fights and all manner of usual tropes you’d expect from this genre as the pair become deeply involved in the case. Various personal issues intertwine with the duo’s professional lives too before a climactic ending sees the stakes raised as these familial issues spill over to the main plot line. The story itself plays out in a rather conventional manner with little room for twists or shocking developments before neatly tying up all the loose ends during the last episode.
Integral to a series like this is good chemistry between the characters and although Noel Clarke and Ashley Walters have some reasonably good banter and chemistry together, the familial ties with the two men and their respective partners are poorly implemented and feel highly contrived throughout. The dialogue is ladled with plenty of stereotypical phrases too; expect a whole host of “Bruv”, “You get me?”, “Blood” and more littered throughout the series. While this in itself isn’t necessarily a bad thing, Bulletproof is relentless in the way it over-exposes these phrases throughout the script.
Bulletproof has the potential to be an enjoyable cop drama but even beyond the stereotypical story and lacklustre character work, the cinematography is really quite poor too. Harsh quick cuts during the action make it difficult to discern exactly what’s going on, conversations between characters are regularly shot facing away from the camera and the filming takes place in locations that don’t really resemble London. All of this combines for a poor technical showing to back up the lacklustre work done with the rest of the show.
It’s difficult to recommend Bulletproof. As a comedy, this 6 episode series isn’t overly funny and the amusing work done early on falls by the wayside as the series progresses in favour of a more action-centric plot line. As an action piece, Bulletproof’s technicality lets it down. The sloppy editing and cinematography make the dramatic, tense moments more dizzying and incoherent than they should be and coupled with the clichéd plot line, make this a largely forgettable venture. This Sky One drama lacks the charisma needed pull off its Bad Boys vibe and lacks the comedic chops to match up to shows like A Touch Of Cloth that do a much better job of parodying this genre. What we’re left with then is a tonally confused show that can’t quite make its mind up what it wants to be.
Verdict - 3/10