21 Bridges – Film Review
by Fran Winston
Directed by: Brian Kirk
Starring: Chadwick Boseman, Sienna Miller, Stephan James, Keith David, Taylor Kitsch, J. K. Simmons
In cinemas November 22nd
Chadwick Boseman is hot property since his turn as Marvel’s Black Panther. So this is a rather interesting choice for his follow up movie. A cop drama is not what many people would have predicted for him.
He plays Andre Davis – a trigger happy NYPD detective who has been investigated by Internal Affairs over the number of perps he has killed in his decade long career. So he’s obviously the perfect choice to investigate when hired guns that were sent to steal drugs go on a rampage and shoot multiple officers.
Realising that the circumstances dictate that they have probably fled to Manhattan he arranges to have the entire island shut down while a hardcore police chase ensues. But when he finally manages to connect with the perpetrators he discovers that there may be more to this story than he has been led to believe by his colleagues.
This boasts a stellar cast. So it’s a shame they have been given such pedestrian material. I won’t post spoilers but I saw the twist coming a mile away within the first hour. To say this is a tad predictable is an understatement.
While the cast all acquit themselves well with some rather clichéd material I felt that Miller’s role – Detective Frankie Burns – was completely tokenistic. It’s as if producers got halfway through the casting process and realised that they probably should have at least one female in a main role since its 2019 and not 1969. While she’s not there to serve as eye candy you do get the feeling that anyone of any gender could have played that role.
This is the kind of movie that pays more attention to the action than the plot and it shows. While the shoot out scenes are wonderfully thought out, anything involving high drama or even basic sensitivity lags somewhat. This is no reflection on the cast, as I said they acquit themselves well but it feels very disjointed.
This is a competent enough cop thriller. It contains all the elements you’d expect. It’s just not very exciting and is let down by a lack of character development and a cliché driven plot. Even at 100 minutes it slightly outstays its welcome and I felt they could have easily wrapped the plot up ten minutes earlier than they did. However, if you just want a straightforward, easy on the brain flick with a fantastic cast then this will tick your boxes. Ultimately though, it is disappointing.