ECCO is an action film, but not the kind you think it is. Unlike say, John Wick, it’s not fast-pace wall-to-wall action. It’s a slow and measured film that takes us into the mind of brainwashed killers. On one path are his many memories of Aubrey followed by the nightmares of her death. On the other is Abby, their child, and a life that could happen. As we journey down both paths, the mystery and secret of Michael’s past are slowly unveiled.
First, there’s finding the mysterious man. Along the way, he runs into an occasional set of thugs that he quickly murders in front of Abby. Then there’s the revelation of what Michael went through to become the killing machine and its pretty dark. Look, you can’t practice killing people unless you actually kill people. While the action scenes are far and few between, they are well-choreographed and visually artistic in composition.
“…uses imagery heavily to get you to feel and empathize…”
ECCO is not going to be everyone’s cup of tea. Patience is needed. The longer you stay with ECCO the better the payoff is at the end. Story takes precedence over action. Directly Medina uses imagery heavily to get you to feel and empathize with Michael. You feel his loss. You feel his love. You feel his desperate grasp for a normal. Lastly, there is a mystery to unfold. Who is above Michael pulling his strings? How did he get into this position in the first place?
I’m on the fence when it comes to ECCO, and primarily it’s pacing. At two hours, it moves slowly and intentionally so. That’s a long time to engage an audience. The story is unique, and the end revelations are clever but fall short of mind-blowing (which is the bar). Lathrop Walker carries the film from beginning to end. He’s exciting and likable. He excels at his stunt work and provides the empathy we need for his character to carry us to the finish line.