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November 25, 2019

21 Bridges (2019) --- “The Only Way Out Is Through Him”

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Hello, Movie Buffs!
     Thrust into a citywide manhunt for a pair of cop killers (Stephan James and Taylor Kitsch), embattled NYPD detective Andre Davis (Chadwick Boseman) closes all 21 bridges into Manhattan for the first time in history; preventing any entry or exit from the island. As the night unfolds and a massive conspiracy is uncovered, lines become blurred between who he is pursuing and who is pursuing him. Can he uncover those responsible behind the conspiracy before the island is opened back up? Or will the bad guys getaway?
     Directed by Brian Kirk (Game of Thrones, Great Expectations), written by Adam Mervis (Choices) and Matthew Michaek Carnaham (Deepwater Horizon, Dark Waters), and produced by Joe and Anthony Russo (Endgame), 21 Bridges (2019) is an entertaining action crime film that aims to keep one invested in the story and the moral imperatives the main character attaches to each new discovery. It’s not mindless or overly vulgar but neither does it spend an unnecessary amount of time of trivial moments or information. The story manages to leave clues for the audience to pick up on suggesting that not everything is as straightforward as it tries to seem. 
***SPOILER WARNING *** In addition to the story, the cinematography also has some moments to shine. One, in particular, takes place at the beginning of the film and involves a funeral for a young Andre Davis’s (Christian Isaiah) father, who was killed in the line of duty. During this scene there is an overhead shot outside the church, which is something we’ve seen a number of times in films, but what makes this different is that the shot is perfectly timed to see hundreds of cops snap a perfectly synchronized salute. This shot demonstrates with action the full importance and significant nature of the event, and how it makes an impact on the life of a young Andre Davis. ***SPOILER WARNING *** 
     The cast performances were great. Chadwick Boseman (Black Panther, Endgame) has a lot of action scenes involving running, car-chases, and shoot outs but there are also a number of moments that allow for the character to do a lot of thinking. He delivers a more thoughtful, intuitive, and smooth type of detective, one who holds high values and morals when it comes to upholding the law. In other words, he firmly believes that nobody is above the law, not even cops, regardless of the fact if the actions were justified as being “good.”Sienna Miller (G.I. Joe: The Rise of the Cobra, American Sniper) is unrecognizable and outstanding as the narcs' detective Frankie Burns, who seems to be hiding more than she is letting on. Stephan James (Race, If Beale Street Could Talk) and Taylor Kitsch (Waco mini-series) are a lot more sympathetically portrayed as the bad guys but they are no less violent, especially when it matters. J. K. Simmons (Spider-Man: Far From Home) as Captain Matt McKenna and Keith David (Armageddon) as Deputy Chief Spencer also gave good performances, especially Simmons who provided an antagonistic character on the side. The rest of the cast performances were good in their respective roles.
     Overall, 21 Bridges (2019) is a thrilling and solid action crime film that refrains from being a mindless drone of unnecessary violence and vulgarity. It’s a thought-provoking action film that leaves little clues for the audience to pick up on and suggest that not everything is as straightforward as it may seem. The cast performances were great, especially from Boseman who delivers a more thoughtful, intuitive, and smooth type of detective, whose conscience prevents him from allowing people, even cops, to get away with a crime. If you are looking for an action crime film that is both thrilling and thought-provoking then I highly suggest that you check out 21 Bridges.

Final Vote --- 7.9 of 10 stars

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