Bulletproof is like a British Bad Boys for TV, as Ashley Walters and Noel Clarke play Ashley Walters and Noel Clarke, aka two cops who wisecrack but still take the bad guys. Don’t expect anything intellectually deep for this hour, but as it began I thought – hopefully, it’ll be a lot of fun. It also gives Mr Walters a chance again to be in the cop role after the BBC cancelled the fairly decent Cuffs after just one series. Still, at least his series Top Boy is coming back, courtesy of Netflix.
A bit of dark drama kicks in when the show is only a few minutes old as Sabine, a young Serbian woman, has information on a gang stealing cars and she wants protection… but any semblance of anything too dark quickly goes out the window as it degenerates into a standard car chase, getting overly silly like the too-comedic side of Lethal Weapon, and any real cop would quickly get a suspension given their wreckless driving, but this pair don’t even get a telling off from their boss! (played by Lindsay Coulson) For those films, personally, I preferred the darker tone in the first two movies, rather than the intentionally OTT comedic third and fourth entries in the series.
In addition, as they chase the initial baddie, it quickly goes from day to night, so either there’s terrible continuity or they’ve been chasing the guy for several hours, which throws common sense out the window, as does how they don’t act like real cops in the slightest, ignoring things like obtaining warrants when you want to arrest a baddie, so the enemy goes free, etc. It feels the ideas are as rushed as the driving.
Meanwhile, a lot of the rest is filled with kitchen sink drama as Noel Clarke and girlfriend Sophie (Emma Rigby – Hollyoaks, Plastic) are having relationship issues, all bad guys are notoriously bad shots, and The Wire‘s Clarke Peters is in it as the cop boss above Caroline Goodall, but he barely gets to do much in the first two episodes.
So, it makes for a passable 44 minutes plus adverts, but it is everything we’ve seen before. Clarke and Walters made a big deal on Sunday Brunch, last week, about how they wanted something groundbreaking because you don’t get two black leads in a TV show. That’s true, but we have seen that in the movies. And if they’re REALLY that proud of this, then…. oh dear.
I’ve also seen episode 2 and that one treads water even more than the first. I expect the pair to be wearing water wings by the time the series ends.
Bulletproof begins tomorrow night on Sky One at 9pm, and continues weekly. It’s not yet available to pre-order on Blu-ray or DVD.
Note that the above Sunday Brunch episode is only available on All 4 until June 5th.
Episode 1: 4/10
Episode 2: 3/10
Series Directors: Ole Endresen, Nick Love
Producer: Jon Finn
Series Writers: Richard Zajdlic, Mark Greig, Nick Love, Noel Clarke, Ashley Walters
Bishop: Noel Clarke
Pike: Ashley Walters
Munroe: Jason Maza
Jonsey: David Elliot
Ali Pike: Jodie Campbell
Sophie: Emma Rigby
Arkeb: Martin Walsh
Sharp: Doug Allen
Ray: Vinzenz Kiefer
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.