When it comes to making a good movie, quite often all you need to do is tell a story about cops. For me it has to do with the direction you can go as that well has so many stories you can tell, it just matters how you tell them. Sure it can be sometimes like beating an old horse with a stick, but every once in a while there is a film that presents itself in a way you haven’t heard and unlocks something golden. Black and Blue is not one of those stories, but locked in its problems was a good idea.
Alicia (Naomie Harris) is a rookie cop who has come back home after serving two tours in the Middle East while in the army. She has no family left after her mother passed and joins the police force to do something with her life. While in her old neighborhood old friends pretend not to know her, as she is no longer one of them, but instead she is “blue”. When Alicia volunteers to work a double for her partner Kevin (Reid Scott), she is paired with a veteran cop who is not too happy to have her along. Even though things start off fine, when the other cop gets a call on his phone they head to meet someone and when they arrive Alicia is told to just wait in the car. When she hears gunshots, she goes to investigate and she sees a NARC named Malone (Frank Grillo) shoot an unarmed man, a shooting that she captured on her body cam. Knowing that footage could get them in trouble Malone and the other two cops with him try and kill Alicia, who barley escapes with her life. Now Alicia must survive the cops and her old neighborhood and do whatever it takes to get that footage back to the station to revel the truth it holds.
If you were to describe Black and Blue as a movie about a cop who sees something they shouldn’t have, and must survive the night to expose that wrong, you would have my attention. The problem is with this film is it can’t get out of its own way to deliver a good movie. It all starts with the story by Peter A. Dowling which is as predictable as they come. Everything you think will happen or every turn someone takes is so easy to see it takes away any suspense. On top of that the film is almost completely miscast, as no one feels right for their role, except Grillo, who you know where his character is heading. For all of its mistakes, Black and Blue feels like there was an interesting starting point in there, but instead of delivering that, we get something that never delivers. Making a decent thriller can be difficult and this had a solid idea, but in the end should be arrested for impersonating being a good police movie.