Tuesday, December 1, 2020

21 Bridges: A Classic Crime Crusade

Reel Reviews

In “21 Bridges,” NYPD Detective Andre Davis (Chadwick Boseman) is called upon to investigate a shootout that led to the deaths of several police officers, and two suspects escaping with over 50 kilograms of cocaine. With a pair of cop killers loose in the city, Detective Davis has the whole island of New York closed down, cutting off all access into and out of the city as a massive manhunt begins. However, what started as a drug bust gone wrong turns into a twisted citywide conspiracy, and the only ones who can lead Detective Davis to the truth are the two cop killers. But with a city full of cops hellbent on revenge, it falls on Detective Davis to find the suspects and uncover the truth before time runs out. The movie also stars J.K. Simmons, Sienna Miller, Stephan James and Keith David.

For anyone out there looking for a great crime story mixed with action, mystery and suspense, then I recommend giving “21 Bridges” a rent. While it’s not the most original crime story I’ve seen, the plot was well written enough that it held my attention. It’s a classic story of an honest cop trying to do the right thing while dealing with a dangerous mystery. What I liked most, however, is while the story does have criminals and thugs, it’s the cops who are the biggest obstacle in the main hero’s path. While our protagonist wants to capture the criminals to bring them in and discover the truth behind the conspiracy, his fellow officers only want to avenge their fallen comrades. It’s an interesting spin on the tale.

The acting gets an A+ as well. Everyone fits perfectly into their separate roles, and all have their moments to shine—especially the main star Chadwick Boseman, who some of you may remember as the superhero from the smash-hit Marvel film, “Blank Panther.” I’m happy that Boseman is getting an opportunity to work in productions outside of Marvel, and this film showed that he has the charisma and authority to make it.

This is another great film that I feel has fallen under the radar. It’s funny how I’ve reviewed three films (“Jojo Rabbit,” “The Lighthouse,” and “21 Bridges”) all with great acting, filming, and storytelling, yet they didn’t get such a wide release; or even that much attention for that matter. I feel much of the blame stems from the marketing behind the films. Every movie has a different marketing team behind it, depending on the studio producing the film. The problem is not every marketing team is going to strike gold for the film. 

Let me put it like this—how do you market a film like “Star Wars?” You take some action shots from the film, throw in some epic music, stitch it all together and then you’re done! Okay, now how do you market a horror film like “The Lighthouse” for the public—a film that’s made up of slow and quiet moments mixed with bizarre scenes? Not as easy. As for “21 Bridges,” I feel like the marketing team behind it didn’t quite know what they were doing as some ads I’ve seen gave misleading clues about the plot, and some just didn’t give enough. My point is marketing is one of the biggest factors in the movie industry that can help a film sink or swim, and I feel like if “21 Bridges” had been gifted with a better one, it probably would have received a wider audience.

“21 Bridges” is rated R for violence and language throughout. For anyone out there who’s a fan of mystery, crime drama, or thrillers, this is a must-see for you. Great acting, good action, mixed with heart-pounding suspense and mystery is why this film earns a 7.5 out of 10.

Matthew Mendisana is a Lynn University alumnus. While he possesses a Bachelor’s Degree in Science, it’s the arts that attracted his attention. He currently serves as a Journalist and Copy Editor to the Coastal Breeze News and is working on becoming a Published Author.

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