Scarred by the childhood death of his policeman father, detective Andre Davis (Chadwick Boseman) has a questionable reputation for hunting down and killing “cop killers”. So, when a botched drugs heist goes wrong and the thieves kill several cops who are alerted to the crime, Andre gets the job. However, there are strings attached. With the FBI itching to take control of the situation, Davis and new partner Frankie Burns (Sienna Miller) only have until 5am to catch the criminals as they shut down all the 21 bridges that lead off Manhattan island.
… one of those films where everything else is so much superior than the main plot that binds it together.
With a brooding brass section that announces each scene, ’21 Bridges’ is an old-style police conspiracy drama with a lot going for it. With New York portrayed as a warren of shadows and pinprick lights that may or may not indicate life, it’s one of those films where everything else is so much superior than the main plot that binds it together.
Chadwick Boseman’s Andre comes across as a confident, committed and yet conflicted fish-of-water within a Police force where nobody is whom they seem to be. Sienna Miller also sports a spot-on accent as single mother/narcotics detective Frankie Burns in what is another creditable descent-into-character and another deft step away from her glamour-led entry into feature films.
With corruption hanging over every suspicion, ’21 Bridges’ is no ‘Serpico‘ but it’s certainly closer in spirit to ‘End of Watch‘. Nearly shooting itself in the foot with the self-conscious casting of the superb J.K. Simmons as Captain McKenna, the movies veiled plot-line is, unfortunately, needlessly transparent. That said, with a top-notch cast, solid cinematography and decent direction, ’21 Bridges’ is an absorbing watch with a satisfying twist that will suitably reward you at the end.
Whilst not a film that will necessarily chart in your end of year movie memories, ’21 Bridges’ is an entertainingly realised procedural drama that will keep you hooked by the commitment of its cast if not the originality of its plot.
Worth crossing several bridges for.