Starring: Chadwick Boseman, Sienna Miller, J.K. Simmons
Director: Brian Kirk
Running Time: 99 mins
21 Bridges is an American film about a New York detective who, after eight police officers are murdered in cold blood, locks down the bridges exiting Manhattan in an attempt to track down the perpetrators.
Though it sets out to grab you with a race against time in the name of justice, 21 Bridges is unfortunately not much different from every other modern cop thriller you’ve seen. With a predictable story that hits on generic and unsurprising themes, the movie is generally underwhelming, though its fast pace does at least give it an often enjoyable intensity.
In short, the premise is simple. Two criminals are on the run after killing cops, so the island of Manhattan is shut down to prevent them from escaping. The scale of the action ties in with the premise of an intense and breathless manhunt, but this movie really fails to deliver on that premise.
In fact, there’s little sense of urgency on both sides of the story. Law enforcement don’t seem particularly overwhelmed by the needle in a haystack-like job of finding two people in the middle of Manhattan, while the criminals don’t have the desperation of two men at the top of the NYPD’s hit list.
As a result, the film plays out as a rather dull game of cat and mouse. It is fast-paced, and its biggest, most action-packed moments are defintely its best, but as far as gripping you with an intense and breathless crime story goes, 21 Bridges really falls flat.
What’s more is that it doesn’t do much with its characters or secondary themes to grab you in any other way. The manhunt might not be particularly gripping, but the film’s unoriginal ideas elsewhere are equally disappointing.
From paper-thin main characters to a story about police corruption that’s been told to death in the same way for years now, there really isn’t much worth noting beyond the main chase story, and that’s what ultimately makes 21 Bridges a really rather dull watch.
Overall, I was disappointed by this movie. Not only is it far from the intense, breathless cop thriller that it sets out to be, but it also falls flat with a predictable narrative and generic themes. It does have its moments, and with a fast pace throughout, there is some fun to be had with 21 Bridges, but it’s a generally underwhelming watch, which is why I’m giving it 6.7.