21 Bridges

Black Panther’s Chadwick Boseman plays Andre Davis, a stoic NYPD detective who was psychologically affected at a young age by the murder of his father, a policeman in the line of fire.  From that tragedy, Davis developed a certain alertness to his job but the experience has made him mentally withdrawn from situations and company.  Peers are either impressed with his work or intimidated by his reputation. Davis invests all of his passion in his most recent case, which involves a hold-up resulting in several dead cops and a couple of fugitives (Taylor Kitsch, Stephan James) with stolen drugs.  Throughout the course of an evening transitioning to morning, Davis and other departments around New York shut down Manhattan to scour the borough in a timed manhunt.

21 Bridges is a glossy thriller with underlining, impressive intelligence.  Take its comprehension of death, for example.  We watch the action-packed inevitable unfold between crooks and cops, and the shoot-outs deliver on their expectations.  But then, audiences are privy to moments of speechless shock as police officers try to work out their immediate mourning.

Director Brian Kirk uses his expertise in shooting television shows to keep the pace lively through a series of showdowns and strategies;  all are well-written by wet-around-the-ear screenwriter Adam Mervis and blockbuster screenwriter Matthew Michael Carnahan (The Kingdom, World War Z, Deepwater Horizon).  Aside from some undercooked double-crosses, 21 Bridges doesn’t deal with unnecessary baggage.  The movie is dedicated to entertaining movie goers with the meat and potatoes of a trope-ridden action movie, but also wants to invest the proper effort to build convincing characters with legitimate emotions and motivations within an airtight story. 

21 Bridges is an underrated title that competently holds itself up.

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