secondulletproof: South Africa (Sky One) is just a three-part series, but it doesn’t skimp on the action. There have been shootouts, violent chases, huge car explosions, and a stint in prison for its two leads, Pike and Bishop (Ashley Walters and Noel Clarke), which was only slightly more ridiculous than Bridget Jones ending up on the wrong side of the law. in Thailand. And those were just the first two episodes. After expending all that energy in such a short period of time, it was difficult to see where the ending would take them. To the sea? In the space?
Perhaps thankfully, Bulletproof seems to have burned out, at least until the last 15 minutes or so, when everything goes happily crazy again. After two hilarious series, this delightful action show deserved a vacation: Pike and his wife Arjana head to Cape Town to relax on the beach. But it wouldn’t be a buddy show if the buddies were divided, so Bishop accompanies him like a third wheel. It takes five minutes until there is a crime fight on the streets of Cape Town and the couple are embroiled in a child abduction that adds to a ruby-stealing plot, leading them on a futile search through from the city and beyond.
In this third and final episode, most of the mystery has been solved, or so it seems, suggesting that the ending has little more to do than patch up loose ends. The girl Kayla has been rescued and the coppery Dewald has taken credit for solving the case, with a nod to Pike and Bishop, who should rightly have a chance to enjoy their vacation at last.
If that were the case though, it would be a failure of an ending and despite starting a bit slowly, it will soon escalate to more high-octane thrills, as they attempt to defeat Dewald. Kayla is back with her mother and father, although Arjana suspects that the family dynamic leaves a lot to be desired. Meanwhile, Kayla is traumatized, as you can imagine, from being closed off and guarded by armed guards. Soon, suspicions fall on Dewald, mainly due to his fondness for apple-flavored vaporizers. It’s an indication of the kind of plot points this program can trigger, which isn’t a bad thing – huge apple-scented clouds of steam are a criminal offense in my opinion.
This is a brilliant show of a show that is indebted to Hollywood. He hardly bothers to dive below the surface, although he does handle a history of domestic abuse with sensitivity, and there is a brief discussion of parental responsibilities that adds a touch of depth. But that’s not really what Bulletproof is here for. It’s a triumph of small-screen action, popcorn-worthy and over-the-top. It drags you along the journey, even if you better not look too closely at the cracks.
It’s also largely fun, due to the chemistry between Walters and Clarke, who tease each other with friendly ease and are worth the price of the ticket alone. Rock-paper-scissors make their way through who is going to take on what role in a violent confrontation. They talk about their lives. They tease each other relentlessly, but they always support each other. It’s a lovely bromance and a pleasure to watch. It’s also worth noting that when the duo becomes a trio, thanks to Tanner (Lindsey Coulson) showing up to get them out of jail, they are a triple act to watch out for.
When the action comes, he does so with as much dedication to the show as you might expect. There are kidnappings, betrayals, and a massive, expensive-looking car chase through the South African countryside that wouldn’t be out of place on the big screen. The whole thing is blatantly designed to deliver an adrenaline rush, but it does it quite effectively, and there are enough twists and turns so you don’t feel let down.
“What did I tell you? Distraction,” Bishop says, when a potentially fatal situation is defused by an unlikely object, one even more ridiculous than a vape, when it comes to thwarting cowardly plots. The same could be said for Bulletproof. It’s a Big, silly, bombastic distraction, but it’s certainly up to the job.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism