’21 Bridges’ Review: An Action-Packed Social Commentary
In the United States there is a debate on how police handle the public. Some officers resort to deadly force before even trying to deescalate situations. Others do their best to handle the situations properly. However, when a cop handles a situation wrong it looks bad on all police, and they have to wear those decisions as a whole. We’re living in a time of tension between the public and the police force. This has been ongoing for years though, especially within minority communities.
In 2019, we have three films, Black and Blue, 21 Bridges, and Queen and Slim that all focus on police/racial tension within communities. Whereas Black and Blue, Queen and Slim focus on the racial tension as a whole, 21 Bridges focuses heavy on the police tension and inserts the racial portion of the conversation kind of silently. But like Black and Blue, this centers around a black police officer is posed with a tough situation.
21 Bridges focuses on Andre Davis (Chadwick Boseman) a police officer that lost his father at a young age. His father died while on duty, and that turned him into the police officer he’s become. He moves up in the ranks to become a detective. He’s been to internal affairs so often that he’s developed a reputation as the cop that kills cop killers. He’s considered the best in the business. After a robbery gone wrong, he’s put on a case to find the man or men that have murdered several officers. He closes the every outlet to leave Manhattan Island, and has a four hour time limit to find the murderers.
The trailers for 21 Bridges do not give away the actual plot to the film. They give away the basics, but there is definitely a lot more at play within the movie. I have to say that although the plot is predictable, this movie is amazing when things get going. The social commentary in this film is great. I commend writers Adam Mervis and Matthew Michael on what they did with the public/police aspect. Also, the way they set the criminal underground up was a beautiful thing. The cinematography of this film was amazing. The angles during the cop chases really give you an adrenaline rush as time runs down to catch the killers. Paul Cameron deserves all the credit for that. Brian Kirk directed an amazing film that definitely is one of the better cop films I’ve seen recently.
The cast definitely held the film together after I kind of already knew where the actual plot was headed. Sienna Miller, J.K. Simmons, Stephan James, Taylor Kitsch, and Keith David all had my attention in every scene. Of course, Boseman absolutely steals the show. He really put in the mind of his mentor Denzel Washington in every scene. His whole demeanor during the entire film was really molded by Washington. Boseman did his own thing, but you can tell he used everything he learned and put it into this movie. Miller playing his tag along Frankie Burns was very well done and Simmons as Captain McKenna… well he’s always great. Kitsch and James had a really good chemistry in the film as they balanced their Yin/Yang characters. The cast held the film together, and did a wonderful job portraying their characters.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this film. It wasn’t a campy buddy cop film, it was definitely a very serious toned film that had a great social commentary. It lies beneath the action and the story very well but it’s very noticeable. It’s a very action packed film that doesn’t rely on the action, but the character development of Boseman’s Andre Davis more so. It’s not the central reliance obviously, but it contributes quite a lot. Watching that character arc was definitely satisfying with the way it was done. 21 Bridges is a film that will hopefully leave a positive mark on 2019. – Rascal F. Kennedy
Have you seen 21 Bridges? Do you agree with the rating? Leave your thoughts below!
21 Bridges is in theaters now.
The film stars Chadwick Boseman, Sienna Miller, JK Simmons, Keith David, Taylor Kitsch, and Stephan James.