In Brief: The 21 bridges are supposed to take you off of New York City’s Manhattan Island. Instead they’re part of a plot that leads nowhere.
Two second-rate criminals break into a high-class bar after hours. Turns out there’s a huge haul of uncut cocaine in the safe. They grab 50-kilos or and run but not before they kill seven cops who just happen upon the scene mid-robbery.
Black Panther’s Chadwick Boseman is cast as Detective Andre Davis. He’s known for being a trigger-happy cop. Davis is charged with hunting the two men down. To do it, the police close down the 21 bridges that connect Manhattan with the rest of New York City.
Thus the title.
It also has little impact on the story. Davis and his narcotics division partner Frankie Burns have until dawn to nab the bad guys or the bridges will reopen. Burns is done by Sienna Miller. Scenes of the inconvenience to the citizens of New York City seem to be a natural. They — surprisingly — don’t appear in the plot.
Both are pressured by insurance company huckster and Oscar and Golden Globe winner J.K. Simmons. He plays the captain assigned to make sure neither bad guy survives and more or less orders Davis and Burns to kill the two men.
Catching them, and the mystery of why the cops suddenly showed up leads the two cops to lead us into a very predictable — but mercifully short — and quite violent chase movie.
That’s sad because the acting isn’t bad. Boseman is always interesting as is Miller. And I’ve never seen Simmons in anything that he didn’t help make better. All three do all they can to make this better but the screenplay by Adam Mervis (The Philly Kid) and Matthew Michael Carnahan (World War Z, State of Play) lets them down.
It is nothing short of awful.
Worse is the movie inexperience of director Brian Kirk. His experience is limited to TV (Game of thrones, Boardwalk Empire) and this movie plays so much like a TV show that several times I expected him to stop things for a commercial break.
The movie might have been more interesting if had.
Director: Brian Kirk
Stars: Chadwick Boseman, Sienna Miller, J.K. Simmons, Stephan James, Taylor Kitsch, Keith David
Rated R for very mature themes and violence. A so-so action-thriller that I wanted to like. Such a letdown. Give this one a 1 on the Friday Flicks with Gary 0 to 5 scale.
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Gary Wolcott has been reviewing movies on radio, television and newspaper since 1990. He believes — and this is an estimate only — that he’s seen something close to 10,000 movies in his lifetime. Gary is a lifelong fan of films and catches a couple of hundred movies a year. He believes movies ought to be seen on the big screen and not on the small screen in your living room or family room. While he loves movies, he also says reviewing film can be a real sacrifice and that he sees many movies so you don’t have to.
He is one of KXL 101.1 FM’s film critics and joined the news staff in 2014. Gary is also the film critic for Tri-Cities, Washington’s Tri-City Herald.