Director: Brian Kirk
Cast: Chadwick Boseman, Sienna Miller, Stephan James
Release Date: February 18, 2020
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Film Rating: 7/10
Disc Rating: 7/10
21 Bridges follows an embattled NYPD detective (Chadwick Boseman) who is thrust into a citywide manhunt for a pair of cop killers after uncovering a massive and unexpected conspiracy. As the night unfolds, lines become blurred on who he is pursuing, and who is in pursuit of him. When the search intensifies, extreme measures are taken to prevent the killers from escaping Manhattan as the authorities close all 21 bridges to prevent any entry or exit from the iconic island.
‘21 Bridges’ accompanies a respected NYPD detective known for tracking down cop killers who is called in late one night following a robbery and mass murder that left multiple police officers dead. Intent to capture the thieves and killers before they can escape, they shut down the entire island of Manhattan and trap the suspects within, flooding the island with blue to catch them before daylight. But with so many dead cops already having fallen victim to these two robbers, the one man known for hunting and taking down cop killers soon becomes the only officer willing to ask questions before shooting. As more info starts to trickle in, it quickly becomes evident that something is terribly wrong about the whole mess, if only this talented detective can uncover the truth before the other cops take down the only people who may have the answers he seeks.
Directed by Brian Kirk (Middletown, TV’s Game of Thrones) from a screenplay by Adam Mervis (The Philly Kid) and Matthew Michael Carnahan (Deepwater Horizons), and an initial story by Mervis, Kirk does a solid job at the helm of ’21 Bridges’ smoothly guiding along the tense action and excitement every step of the way. The film also benefits from a cast that features a number of talented individuals and includes Chadwick Boseman (Black Panther), Sienna Miller (American Sniper), Stephan James (If Beale Street Could Talk), Keith David (Night School), Taylor Kitsch (Lone Survivor) and J.K. Simmons (Whiplash) along with more, the majority of which offer capable and solid performances in each of their respective roles for the most part.
‘21 Bridges’ is a swiftly paced, action packed and thoroughly entertaining police thriller that’s largely reminiscent of cop thrillers from decades prior. Loaded with twists and turns (albeit most of which are quite predictable) backed by some modern concepts and plenty of gunfights and other tense moments that should easily hold your attention throughout its duration. Instead of trying to find a way of bringing something notably new or fresh to the tale, it instead wisely chooses to stick largely to the basics and in the process delivers a familiar thriller with some intriguing characters and a massive crime as the backdrop; with everything breaking down and happening along the course of one night in New York. The film’s capably kept on track by director Brian Kirk and his work at the helm is greatly benefited by a solid cast led by the always charming Chadwick Boseman that does a great deal to help this film work as smoothly as it does. I would definitely encourage fans of action films and cop thrillers of old to make a point of checking out ‘21 Bridges’ whenever possible. It’s a fun, tense and fast paced ride that’s well worth taking. If you haven’t already had the pleasure of this one and are therefore understandably hesitant to drop the money on a blind purchase of the Blu-ray release, it should at least be worth considering for a rental one easygoing evening when you’re just looking for an entertaining film that isn’t too complex to have some fun with.
Overall, ’21 Bridges’ is an exciting, violent and at times fairly tense cop thriller all occurring throughout the course of one night in New York and tremendously complimented by a talented and well selected cast. ’21 Bridges’ is definitely recommended, especially for those that enjoy a fast-paced cop thriller with plenty of action and excitement around each turn, and fans of key cast members such as Boseman and Miller will also probably want to try and find the time to give this one a chance. It may not be the movie event of the year, but certainly delivers a fun and fairly action-packed ride that’s worth taking. It may not be necessary to immediately go out of your way to get ahold of a copy, but I would strongly suggest not overlooking it entirely.
The Blu-ray release of ‘21 Bridges’ features a full 1080p High Definition presentation utilizing the film’s original 2.39:1 Cinemascope Aspect Ratio. The video presentation looks great altogether and provides a sharp, smooth and richly detailed presentation from start to finish, with no notable faults or issues to be uncovered throughout. It holds up remarkably well even during the numerous darkly lit and fast moving sequences (nearly the entire film takes place at night), never allowing anything occurring onscreen to become negatively affected or rendered indiscernible. Overall, this is a solid high definition video presentation from Universal that delivers admirably throughout and should satisfy fans and first time viewers alike.
The Blu-ray release features a 5.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. This multichannel soundtrack serves up a crisp, clean and frequently aggressive audio presentation throughout. It constantly takes full advantage of all five available channels in order to send bullets, vehicles and other action effects whipping throughout the various speakers, along with bits of crowd chatter, nature elements and plenty more, while always making sure that any dialogue or other audio content that might be occurring simultaneously remains clean, sharp and fully audible. Overall, this is a great 5.1 DTS-HD MA soundtrack that repeatedly compliments the onscreen tension and excitement and shouldn’t disappoint.
The Blu-ray release of ‘21 Bridges’ includes a couple solid extras. Included on the release is an ‘Audio Commentary with Director Brian Kirk and Editor Tim Murrell’, in addition to a few ‘Deleted Scenes’ from the movie (running approximately 3 minutes altogether). ‘3 Theatrical Trailers’ for the film (approximately 6 minutes combined) are also included.