Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Review: Black and Blue

Release date: October 25, 2019
Running time: 108 minutes
Starring:  Mike ColterNaomie HarrisFrank Grillo

Black and Blue takes us to the streets of New Orleans as we follow military vet turned rookie cop Alicia West (Naomie Harris) returning home after her service.  Her return is bittersweet as she did not realize how much the city had changed in her time away.  After the devastation of Hurricane Katrina residents of this city are finding that they are forced to rebuild and survive by any means.  To make matters worse, the poverty in the city is compounded by the corruption within the law enforcement system, making West's job that much more challenging. 

This movie sets the tone right from the start, showing law enforcement discriminating against the city residents with aggressive and unlawful actions.  This has caused the residents of the city--predominantly African American--to have no little if any respect for law enforcement.  The situation in the city is truly Black vs. Blue, with West torn between her two worlds and hoping to mend the animosity.  But this quickly changes when she is forced into a difficult and dangerous situation that tests her loyalties.  crime.

I went in with low expectations for this film and was pleasantly surprised.  The movie ended up being a very entertaining thriller.  This was helped by the cast, including the already mentioned Harris, who is joined by Frank Grillo who is great in his tough guy with very intense roles as we seen in many previous performance as well as Mike Colter who unexpectedly plays the drug lord and absolutely kills it.  And of course, I really enjoyed seeing Tyrese Gibson, who typically provides the comedic relief, take a more serious tone in his role.  His character is emblematic of the problems the citizens of this city face, and he even brings back some crying reminiscent of his viral video.  

Now while this movie takes place in New Orleans it didn't truly capture the essence of this city's atmosphere and rich culture. Sure there was an amazing wall mural, which actually hides messages and clues, but this movie lacked the deep southern accents and attire, as well as a music selection that accurately represents NOLA.  While the plot touches on a number of huge societal problems, it's very predictable in its resolution. There are some very good messages to take out of this movie but some of the above issues make it so that you can get those message after its theatrical run.  

Rent it
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