‘Echo’ 2024 Review Disney Plus

‘Echo’ 2024 Review

Marvel has always been known for its larger-than-life superheroes and action-packed storylines. But in their latest series for Disney+, titled ‘Echo,’ they take a different approach. Marvel tries to have it both ways by minimizing superheroics and diving into the world of Southwestern noir.

However, there seems to be a constant tug of war between the action-thriller elements and the cultural-historical imperatives in this series. In this review, we’ll take a closer look at ‘Echo’ and see if Marvel succeeds in striking the right balance.

An Origin Story with a Twist

The protagonist of ‘Echo’ is Maya Lopez, a deaf Choctaw girl who goes through a series of tragic events that shape her life. After her mother’s death, Maya’s father moves them from Oklahoma to New York City to work for a criminal kingpin known as Kingpin.

Eventually, Maya becomes an underworld enforcer, but betrayal leads her back to Oklahoma and her long-lost family. The first episode of ‘Echo’ serves as an origin story, connecting Maya’s journey to the Marvel-Disney+ series ‘Hawkeye’ and setting the stage for the upcoming series ‘Daredevil: Born Again.’

The Demands of Corporate Storytelling

Marvel’s interconnected cinematic universe demands that each piece of narrative fits into the larger puzzle. While committed fans may embrace the incongruities and enjoy the references, it can sometimes feel repetitive and formulaic.

In ‘Echo,’ the narrative is pulled in different directions, trying to satisfy both the action-thriller genre and the celebration of identity and heritage. Unfortunately, the show fails to weave these two strands together in an interesting or dramatic way, resulting in a losing battle for both sides.

Balancing Action and Cultural History

One of the challenges ‘Echo’ faces is balancing the action-thriller elements with the cultural-historical imperative. Maya’s identity as a deaf and Native American character offers an opportunity for the celebration of her heritage. However, within the relatively short episodes of ‘Echo,’ this balance becomes uneven.

The show’s writers struggle to integrate the cultural elements seamlessly, resorting to gimmicky presentations that detract from the overall narrative. While Maya battles her enemies, she has visions of her ancestors who offer her supernatural powers. These scenes, while visually appealing, lack narrative momentum and end up taking more screen time than necessary.

A Family Crime Drama

At its core, ‘Echo’ is more of a family crime drama than a traditional superhero story. It explores Maya’s struggle between her tribal family and the artificial clan created for her by Kingpin. The show aims to be a naturalistic and violent take on Marvel’s storytelling, but it falls short in creating a compelling narrative.

The confrontations between Maya and her family members feel generic and predictable, while the action sequences, although visually impressive, lack originality. Maya’s ability to channel mystical Choctaw energy through her hands adds an interesting twist, but the show’s title, ‘Echo,’ feels like a forced justification rather than an organic part of her character development.

Moments of Brilliance

Amidst the struggles to find a cohesive balance, ‘Echo’ does have its moments of brilliance. The interactions between Maya and supporting characters bring depth and humor to the series.

Graham Greene’s portrayal of a pawnshop owner adds humor and soulfulness, while Cody Lightning brings amusement as Maya’s loyal cousin. Darnell Besaw’s performance as the younger Maya is particularly compelling, especially in scenes shared with Zahn McClarnon.

These moments between action and history provide glimpses of what ‘Echo’ could have been—a captivating exploration of identity and family dynamics.

Final Thoughts

While ‘Echo’ attempts to navigate the complexities of Southwestern noir and cultural heritage, it struggles to find a harmonious balance. The show’s attempts to combine action-thriller elements with cultural history feel disjointed and forced at times, detracting from the overall narrative.

However, the performances of the cast, especially the supporting characters, inject moments of brilliance that make ‘Echo’ worth watching. Despite its flaws, ‘Echo’ offers a unique take on the Marvel universe and sets the stage for future series.

FAQs

1. Is ‘Echo’ a traditional superhero series?
No, ‘Echo’ takes a different approach by minimizing superheroics and delving into the world of Southwestern noir. It focuses more on the protagonist’s personal journey and family dynamics.

2. Does ‘Echo’ connect to other Marvel series?
Yes, ‘Echo’ is connected to the Marvel-Disney+ series ‘Hawkeye’ and serves as a bridge to the upcoming series ‘Daredevil: Born Again.’ It introduces Maya Lopez’s character and expands on her backstory.

3. Are there any standout performances in ‘Echo’?
Yes, there are moments of brilliance in the performances of the supporting cast. Graham Greene brings humor and soulfulnessto the series, Cody Lightning adds amusement as Maya’s cousin, and Darnell Besaw delivers a compelling portrayal of the younger Maya. These performances add depth and entertainment value to the show.