Bulletproof: South Africa review – a fun, if brief, new case

January 20, 2021
Jonathon Wilson 0
TV Reviews
3.5

Summary

Bishop and Pike go on holiday to predictably chaotic results, as their unique brand of police work causes problems in South Africa.

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3.5

Summary

Bishop and Pike go on holiday to predictably chaotic results, as their unique brand of police work causes problems in South Africa.

This review of Bulletproof: South Africa is spoiler-free.


I’ve always been a fan of Sky’s Bulletproof, which is basically London’s answer to Bad Boys. The second season came and went last year with what seemed like very little fuss, but nonetheless, it has been commissioned for another outing after this three-part special set in South Africa, which finds Bishop (Noel Clarke) and Pike (Ashley Walters) on holiday — though they have far from a relaxing time. It’s a bit too brief to really make much of a splash, and it’s very much more of the same in a new, sunnier setting, but it contains all the stuff that made the first two seasons a riot and if you liked those, you’ll definitely like this too.

The change of scenery also means that most of the cast, including Munroe (Jason Maza), Scooch (Olivia Chenery), and Paige (Lucie Shorthouse), are left behind in Blighty, though they do get to participate in a brief season opener that cracks a window into Bishop’s background in the care system. After that, though, it’s off to Cape Town with Arjana (Vanessa Vanderpuye) and the kids, and very swiftly into a kidnapping plot which finds the daughter of South African couple William and Megan (Kim Engelbrecht) swiped by local wrong-‘uns in the market for some valuable rubies.

At the forefront of Bulletproof: South Africa is, as ever, Bishop and Pike’s relationship, especially as it relates to their new environment. They get to run into local law enforcement, civilians, and gangsters and move within various strata of South African life, often to funny effect. It isn’t so much fish-out-of-water comedy, since everyone speaks English, but the pair still find their rebellious way of doing things causes them problems, especially given that they don’t exactly have the backing of the law in Cape Town, with no overseeing figure like Tanner (Lindsey Coulson) to bail them out where necessary — not at first, anyway. It makes for a pleasantly different vibe to these three episodes, especially once their attempts to intervene go more and more wrong and they find themselves in increasingly dangerous predicaments.

With Arjana back at the hotel and facing the prospect of extending the Pike family further, the fun family element isn’t forgotten about. This is a diversionary series with lots of expensive-looking action, as expected, but it’s also full of great character moments, dialogue, and chemistry. Bulletproof has always been an underrated show and this new outing, while brief, proves that it’s more than worth checking out.

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