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“21 Bridges” A Powerful Thriller




Review by John Delia

A high energy movie, 21 Bridges opens with a bang and never stops until the final curtain. Leading the reasons for its appeal for crime action films is the acting by Chadwick Boseman and the direction by Brian Kirk. The film has a lot of potential to take the box office by storm and probably will this weekend. It may be a little predictable, but if you need something to distract you from the daily routine, then take this wild ride.

Two men, Michael Trujillo (Stephan James) and Ray Jackson (Taylor Kitsch) enter a club closed for the evening and accost the night manager forcing him to give them the keys to the food locker. In the locker is a hundred pounds of uncut cocaine, an unexpected amount from what they were told would be at the club. Grabbing what they could they attempt to flee and met with resistance by NYC police from the 85th Precinct.

Chadwick Boseman stars in 21 Bridges. Photo courtesy of STX Films

Fighting their way out they take down 8 police officers and realizing it may have been a set-up, go to the head man who sent them to the club. Hot on their tail after closing down Manhattan’s 21 brides and other escape routes is Detective Andre Davis (Chadwick Boseman) who gets matched up with Frankie Burns (Sienna Miller) one of the top detectives at the 85th Precinct.

The two start to hunt the killers down only to find themselves meeting heavy resistance from the well-armed men. Director Brian Kirk having quite a long list of crime film and TV credits including episodes of “Brotherhood”, “Dexter”, “Luther” and 3 episodes of “Game of Thrones”, lays out his film in fast order taking the story quickly to the robbery and then turning up the heat even more as the movie plays out. The nonstop action thriller gets the adrenaline pumping as it moves throughout Manhattan.

Stephan James and Taylor Kitsch star in 21 BRIDGES. Photo courtesy of STXfilms

I like his methodology, but the script does have a problem hiding the surprises and getting predictable early on. Although this may have been a difficult task for the director, the screen writers Adam Mervis and Matthew Michael Carnahan should have been more diligent in their story to avoid it. Most action thriller fans may dismiss the problem and just let it ride and that’s what I suggest as the cast really does a good job with the film.

Speaking of cast members, Chadwick Boesman who was lauded for his work as the title character in Black Panther really packs a punch in 21 Bridges. His energy and character credibility shows very high on my acting meter as he turns Detective Andre Davis into a tough no-nonsense cop. He actually saves the film for Director Brian Kirk and will keep the box office going strong for the crime thriller.

Chadwick Boseman and Sienna Miller star in 21 BRIDGES. Photo courtesy of STX Films

21 Bridges has been rated R by the MPAA for violence and language throughout. The violence is very brutal and the number of bullets fired are in the thousands. But, it is an action film however, and that’s what fans are looking for in the genre.

FINAL ANALYSIS: A good film for thriller fans and those who need a break from the ordinary. (3.5 out of 5 Stars)

Additional Film Information:
Cast: Chadwick Boseman, Sienna Miller, Stephan James, Keith David, Alexander  Siddig, with Taylor Kitsch and J.K. Simmons
Directed by: Brian Kirk
Genre: Suspense Thriller
MPAA Rating:  R for violence and language throughout
Running Time: 1 hr. 39 min.
Opening Date: November 22, 2019
Distributed by: STX Films
Released in: Theaters

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