Movie Review: 21 Bridges

It’s hard to believe that it’s been a year and a half since we last saw Chadwick Boseman (BLACK PANTHER; AVENGERS: ENDGAME; AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR) on the big screen. He’s finally back, this time playing a straight shooting NYPD detective and pulling double duty as one of the film’s producers.

In 21 BRIDGES, Detective Andre Davis (Boseman) has a reputation for being a killer of cop killers, which has endeared him to his fellow men in blue but less so to the suits in Internal Affairs. When a cocaine heist goes terribly wrong and results in the shooting deaths of eight cops, Davis is called in to find the killers by Capt. McKenna (J.K. Simmons, LA LA LAND; TERMINATOR GENISYS; WHIPLASH), the head of the 85th Precinct where all the slain cops came from. Because of the size of the drug haul, McKenna also brings in Detective Frankie Burns (Sienna Miller, AMERICAN SNIPER) from Narcotics to assist. Davis reasons that the killers, who are quickly identified as Ray Jackson (Taylor Kitsch, TV’s FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS) and Michael Trujillo (Stephan James, IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK; RACE; SELMA), must still be in the city so he convinces the deputy mayor to put Manhattan on lockdown by closing all 21 bridges into and out of the city overnight so that he can find them. With the clock ticking, Davis soon realises that he’s not the only one who wants the pair dead but others have very different reasons.

Rather unfortunately, 21 BRIDGES is completely predictable after the first minute. Yes, there are a couple of twists and turns during the course of the story but they’re foreshadowed so poorly (or perhaps so blatantly) that when they do finally arrive, all you can do is yawn. However, this film is far from being a total snooze-fest thanks to the performances of Boseman and James – more so James who keeps getting better with each new role he gets. With a better script, this could have been a really good film. As it is, it’s a very average film and not a very memorable one either. Scratch that. There’s one line about diction that’s memorable. It went over the heads of everyone in my audience presumably because it doesn’t translate well into Chinese but I laughed.

Don’t bother going to the cinema to watch this one. Wait for it to come to a streaming service or an inflight entertainment system near you. You won’t have to wait a year and a half for that to happen.

Watch the review recorded on Facebook Live on Friday, November 22nd, 8:30 am HK time!

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