PLOT: An NYPD detective (Chadwick Boseman) shuts down the bridges to and from Manhattan to search out two cop killers (Taylor Kitsch and Stephan James) who’re on the run with fifty kilos of uncut coke.
REVIEW: 21 BRIDGES is a reasonably customary cop thriller, one which’s sometimes impressed, however simply as usually run of the mill. It’s anchored by a commanding lead efficiency by Chadwick Boseman, though he’s much less in motion hero mode than the posters and trailers recommend, with this having extra in widespread with one thing like SERPICO or PRINCE OF THE CITY than a extra action-driven movie.
This side each works to the movie’s benefit and towards it. On the plus facet, you get extra totally rounded characters than regular for a movie of this ilk, particularly the 2 “baddies” performed by Stephan James and Taylor Kitsch. Nevertheless, the movie suffers from an absence of thrills, which is an issue right here because the story isn’t compelling sufficient to work as a straight drama. The massive twist, whereas telegraphed early on, is handled in too handy a vogue, leaving the movie feeling neither satisfying as an actioner or a drama.
Boseman tries onerous to raise the fabric, though his fixed speeches pressure credibility. The movie opens with him being investigated by Inner Affairs for too many deadly shootings, and he justifies his actions with a speech about his righteousness that’s most likely a pleasant piece of writing for the screenwriters however feels fairly phony baloney. His fixed speechifying makes him a bit of awkward as an motion hero, and regardless of being offered as a Chadwick Boseman movie, he solely appears like a part of an ensemble right here.
In truth, the strongest roles by far go to James and Kitsch because the unhealthy guys. They play triggermen meant despatched to steal thirty keys of cocaine, solely to come back face-to-face with over 300 keys and a military of cops ready for them. Of the 2, James is supposed to be the sympathetic one, with him not proven killing cops, whereas the educated Kitsch lays waste to eight of them. But, in a wise departure, Kitsch shouldn’t be portrayed as a psycho. Relatively, he merely killed them so he might get away, and he’s proven to be protecting of his youthful accomplice, with a heroic soldier backstory. Kitsch advantages from the fabric, and as soon as once more proves why he’s such an underrated actor. James additionally exhibits a variety of charisma because the youthful accomplice, with this a superb follow-up to his breakout roles in IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK and Amazon’s “Homecoming.” The issue is, you’re totally on their facet all through, particularly after a late within the sport plot twist that, perversely, actually makes them no worse than the hero – performed by Boseman, who comes off as annoying self-righteous all through.
Sienna Miller additionally has a stable half, solid towards sort as a Narc trailing Boseman, whereas J.Ok. Simmons is solid precisely to sort because the police captain wanting revenge. His casting is so meeting line that it’s painfully straightforward to foretell the place that is going about ten minutes in. The motion, whereas restricted, is okay however director Brian Kirk appears extra fascinated about making a critical cop flick than an action-driven one. Too unhealthy the fabric isn’t fairly as much as the duty.
21 BRIDGES isn’t a horrible cop movie I’d wager it’s a superbly satisfactory one. Nevertheless, it could’t be denied that there’s little right here you haven’t seen earlier than, with solely Kitsch and James distinguishing issues. It’s a satisfactory time-filler however not way more.