I always assumed that most kids were like me and played cops and robbers as a kid. You had your cap guns and plastic badges and (completely breakable) hand cuffs and you would try to solve crimes like who stole the last piece of cheese. You did that right? Those times were fun and as I got older and put away my cap guns and I let that desire be filled with great movies that had higher stakes in them than someone stealing a dairy product. Movies like The Public Enemy, Chinatown,and Heat were some of the many great dramas I would watch, which always made me long for the next one.
Because of that search, I am always looking for a good crime drama to add to my list of favorites and I am hoping 21 Bridges , written by Adam Mervis and Matthew Michael Camahan can make it. For Andre Davis ( Chadwick Boseman), being a cop is in his D.N.A. As a young kid he had to go through his father, who was a cop, being killed and had to grow up with that. Today he is a detective who some believe has a itchy trigger finger, but as Andre put it, he never fires first. With his past, he seems like the perfect guy to lead an investigation into eight cops who got killed while rolling up to a robbery in progress. Davis takes the lead and is joined by a narcotics detective named Frankie Burns ( Sienna Miller), who some consider one of the best at her job. After Davis orders the island of Manhattan closed, including all twenty one bridges that turn the island into an island of no escape, he and Burns start to use their resources to smoke out the ones responsible for the killings. Things though are never quite so simple and within the night, Davis discovers things are not as they seem.
Delivering a good police drama needs the right pieces to fall into place. Story and cast are so crucial because without them delivering something that gives the desired effect just won’t happen . 21 Bridges has the cast down, with Boseman leading, followed by strong performances by Miller, J.K. Simmons, Stephan James, and Taylor Kitsch. That though is only half the pie and where it falters is the story, as you can see where it is going a mile away. There is no guess work involved as the viewer detective in you, but I will give the film credit that it keeps the suspense going even if you know the outcome. The slow boil works in its favor as does the coolness of Boseman, who I think can’t be made to look uncool no matter what he is doing. With that said while 21 Bridges won’t be making my list, it is a very severable cops and robbers flick which will hold me over til the next great crime wave.