Looking for a gritty cop thriller with the flavor of "Serpico" and the tense action of "The French Connection"? You'll love Chadwick Boseman's new starring vehicle, 21 BRIDGES.
Hot off his massive worldwide debut as Black Panther, Boseman brings the same emotional and physical gravitas to his role as NYPD detective Andre Davis.
With a legendary policeman father as his legacy and a reputation for lethal justice, Davis is one of the best.
He's thrust into an escalating manhunt when two robbers stumble on to more than they bargained for and end up killing 8 police officers in a brutal shootout.
Career criminal Ray (Taylor Kitsch of "John Carter") and his younger protege Michael (Stephan James of "Selma") go on the run, with Andre and his team close in on them.
Their massive overnight operation shuts down all 21 bridges in and out of Manhattan, leaving the two men no way out.
But not all of Andre's team seems to be in sync. There is the hothead captain of the precinct Mckenna (JK Simmons of "Whiplash") urging his men to shoot first for revenge against the cop killers. Two FBI agents seem hell bent on wrestling the case from Andre by beating him to every lead.
Narcotics officer Frankie Burns (Sienna Miller sporting a great Brooklyn accent) is the only one at Andre's side.
The action is fast & furious, with car chases, on foot chases that are incredibly well shot and gun battles aplenty.
Manhattan at night looks like a Michael Mann dream, with Cinematographer Paul Cameron (Collateral, Man on Fire) capturing the grit, smoke and feel of the city perfectly. His steadicam shots during the on foot chase that ends on the subway is amazing.
Henry Jackman and Alex Belcher deliver a big, orchestral action score that never stops, but doesn't overwhelm the action either.
Boseman is terrific. I'd love to see more of this character, but a weak box office probably didn't help any prospects for that happening.
Produced by Anthony and Joe Russo, who directed "Avengers Infinity War" & "Endgame", it makes its $33 million budget look like $100m in all the right ways.
Fast paced, exciting and action-packed, 21 BRIDGES gets a B+.