“Black and Blue” will keep you on the edge of your seats. Directed by Deon Taylor (“The Intruder”), the fast action and strong acting make up for a somewhat derivative story written by Peter A. Dowling.
The movie opens with the main character Alicia West (Naomie Harris) running in the rain with her hoodie pulled over her head. She is stopped by the police and slammed against the wall, all the while telling officers that she lives in the neighborhood and that she, too, is a police officer. She is released when the officers find out that she is a “blue” too.
Alicia, a rookie at the New Orleans Police Department, has only been on the job for a few weeks when she and her partner go back to the stomping grounds of her youth. She is surprised to see how much the neighborhood has changed since she was 17. She encounters old friends like Milo aka “Mouse” (Tyrese Gibson), a local convenience store clerk. He initially shuns her because she is a police officer, but the two eventually forge an alliance.
The movie goes into continuous action sequences when Alicia fills in for her partner. At one stop, she inadvertently witnesses the execution of three young drug dealers by corrupt police officers and it is recorded on her body camera. One of the youngsters killed was the nephew of a notorious gang leader in the neighborhood (Mike Colter of “Luke Cage”).
Alicia becomes hunted herself, not only by the corrupt officers who want the footage, but also by the gang members in the neighborhood who believe that she was the one who killed Zero, the nephew of the neighborhood gang leader.
Harris plays her role very convincingly and elevates the material, especially when she explains to Milo why she became a police officer and why she is willing to risk her life to get her body cam footage to the proper authorities.
Gibson, a versatile actor, plays his role so convincingly that you can feel all the emotion of his character. This may be one of the best roles that he’s played. Frank Grillo, Nafessa Williams and Reid Scott, along with Colter, round out an excellent supporting cast.
This movie does follow familiar terrain. “New Jack York City” came to mind in a few scenes, for example. But if you like action movies that touch on social issues, this is a must-see. Moviegoers at the advance screening I attended were clapping and yelling at every turn of the action, as well as praising the film on the way out of the theater.
“Black and Blue” shows that the code of the police to protect themselves doesn’t extend to officers who are really trying to protect and serve the community.
Check local listings for showtimes. For more movie info, visit www.blackandblue.movie.
Rating: R (for violence and language)
Genre: Action & Adventure, Mystery & Suspense
Studio: Screen Gems
Runtime: 108 minutes
Ceceila Viel welcomes readers’ responses to firstname.lastname@example.org.