21 Bridges, rated R
21 Bridges is an intense thriller about a police chase of two murderers of multiple police officers through the streets of Manhattan overnight. The film is well-made and exciting, but does include a significant amount of adult language and violence. The film is directed by Brian Kirk (Game of Thrones, Luther), and written by Adam Mervis and Michael Carnahan. The film had a budget of approximately $33 million.
The film begins with a young boy, Andre Davis, at the funeral of his policeman father who was killed in the line of duty. That young boy, played by Chadwick Boseman (Black Panther, 24, Marshall), would grow up to be a police detective in New York City, because it was “in his DNA”. The film then moves forward nineteen years to the present day.
***SPOILER ALERT ***
We see two criminals, Ray, played by Taylor Kitsch (Friday Night Lights), and Michael, played by Golden Globe nominee Stephan James (Homecoming), breaking into a restaurant just after midnight to steal 30 kilos of cocaine. They are stunned to find that there are not 30 kilos of cocaine, but 300 kilos of cocaine in the cooler. They encounter the manager of the restaurant, and then before they leave, four policemen show up at the restaurant. They kill those officers, the manager and also the police officers who show up as backup. Ray and Michael get away with 50 kilos of cocaine.
Detective Davis is put in charge of the case. Captain McKenna of the 85th Precinct, played by Oscar winner J.K. Simmons (Whiplash), is the captain of the police officers who were killed. He states that Davis is the right man to handle the case, because Davis has shot and killed a number of criminals in his years on the force. Davis said he never shot a criminal without cause. Captain McKenna asks Davis for justice for the families that have endured such loss. They don’t need to wait through endless trials and appeals, he says.
McKenna assigns narcotics detective and single mother, Frankie Burns, played by Golden Globe nominee Sienna Miller (The Girl), to accompany Davis, something Davis is not pleased about. Davis’ plan is to completely close off Manhattan for the first time – by closing all bridges, ferries and tunnels to the island, and programming the subway to run in a loop – to aid in the massive manhunt for the criminals. He is told they have until 5:00 am to find and apprehend the criminals and the stolen cocaine before the bridges open again.
Is this a routine drug robbery that went bad, or is there something more going on? Will Davis be able to apprehend the murderers before the bridges open at 5:00 am?
Themes in the film include justice, theft, murder, corruption, and doing the right thing. Content concerns include a large amount of adult language. The film boasts a strong cast, led by Boseman and a solid supporting cast.
The cinematography of Emmy nominee Paul Cameron (Westworld), captures the action scenes – gunfire, car chases and running. The music is by Alex Belcher (Captain America: Civil War), and Henry Jackman (Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle).
21 Bridges is an exciting police thriller with a few twists in the plot; but the ending seemed to have something missing and was unsatisfactory. The film does have some content issues, however – a significant amount of adult language and violence.