ECHO 3 Premiere Review: A Gripping War Drama with Highs and Lows
Echo 3 is a new series released by AppleTV+ that I had no idea was coming out until not too long ago, the main draw for me here is the creator/writer Mark Boal who is responsible for great screenplays like Zero Dark Thirty, The Hurt Locker and Detroit. Because of his résumé, I was interested to see what could be done here considering Mark Boal is excellent with this genre and Luke Evans is also an underrated talent in Hollywood. This is going to be a review of the first three episodes with no spoilers, maybe minor plot details but that's it.
Synopsis: "When Amber Chesborough goes missing along the Colombia-Venezuela border, her brother and her husband struggle to find her against the backdrop of a secret war."
I'm going to start with the positives here, the action is excellent and every episode that I saw has at least one thrilling action sequence that's worth watching. Luke Evans is playing a very serious role here and I think he's the star of the show, he makes a solid pairing with Michiel Huisman as two co-workers with a family bond. The show starts with Huisman's character (Prince) marrying Luke Evans' (Bambi) sister played by Amber Chesborough, they are both black ops working together. They get a call to jump on a mission, and things goes south from there.
The sequence in the snow had me on the edge of my seat and I was on board for a great show, the sound design is really on-point and I always think it's bonus point when it's shot on location, which they do a lot here. This leads me to some of the issues I have with the series so far, keeping in mind that I've only seen three episodes. Everything else surrounding those action sequences can be lackluster in parts, it's a very cold series and not all characters are likeable which makes it tough sometimes to be attached emotionally. It has some strong moments but not all of it is working, it's at its best during the action sequences.
The story involves a lot of characters because of the political intrigue and I don't think everyone gets their moments to shine so when the action kicks in, there's a certain lack of emotional connection to the spectacle unfolding. Despite some solid acting & directing, I can't help but feel like this is not reaching its full potential, yet. I feel like it's not hitting the target with its political commentary. After 3 episodes, I still want to see where this is going and even if the only reason I'm still on board is because of the impressive action sequences, that's enough for me to stick around a little bit more because they hit with a bang.
Initial Score: 6.5/10
The first three episodes of Echo 3 will start streaming on November 23rd on AppleTV+