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Blu-ray Review: 21 Bridges

February 18, 2020

By John Corrado

★★½ (out of 4)

Andre Davis (Chadwick Boseman) is an NYPD detective who has a complicated history with the force. His father was killed in the line of duty when he was a boy, and his high kill count has gained him the nickname “trigger” and earned him the reputation of being a fearless officer who is unafraid of using his gun.

When a cocaine heist at a high end restaurant being carried out by two gang members, Ray (Taylor Kitsch) and Michael (Stephan James), leads to a police raid, a vicious gun battle ensues that ends with eight dead officers, plunging the city of New York into turmoil.

On the orders of Captain McKenna (J.K. Simmons), Andre is paired up with narcotics officer Frankie Burns (Sienna Miller), to track and take down the cop killers by any means necessary. With Ray and Michael on the run, the NYPD orders all 21 bridges leading on and off the island of Manhattan to be shut down for the night until they can catch the killers, sending Andre on a complicated manhunt that leads him to question the true motives of all involved.

Produced by Anthony and Joe Russo, fresh off of their massive successes in the Marvel Cinematic Universe including Avengers: Endgame, and starring Black Panther himself, Chadwick Boseman, who also serves as a producer, there is a lot of star power behind 21 Bridges that elevates it somewhat above the level of a standard B-movie police procedural. The film is directed Brian Kirk, who is mostly successful in making the leap from TV to movies after cutting his teeth helming several episodes of Game of Thrones and other shows, and he keeps things moving at a swift pace.

The plot is somewhat derivative and predictable, and the story itself doesn’t exactly break new ground, but the script by Adam Mervis and Matthew Michael Carnahan does feature some interesting character motivations. The racial tensions at play are subtly observed, heightened by the diverse casting, and the film is kept watchable thanks to a fine cast and some well done action sequences. Overall, 21 Bridges is a fairly decent crime thriller that is carried by a solid performance from Boseman, who does a good job of flexing his muscles outside of the franchise that he is now famous for.

The Blu-ray also includes an audio commentary track, a short highlight reel of behind the scenes footage most of which plays without sound, a brief selection of deleted scenes, and soundbites featuring the five cast members Boseman, Miller, Simmons, Kitsch and James talking about the film and their characters.

21 Bridges is a VVS Films release. It’s 100 minutes and rated 14A.

Street Date: February 18th, 2020

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