21 Bridges offers gripping big-screen plunge into world of police corruption

21 Bridges
21 Bridges

REVIEW: 21 Bridges (15), (99 mins), Cineworld

21 Bridges is brutal and murky, but it also manages to be gripping and intelligent as it weaves a dark web of corruption.

Flying the flag unwaveringly for the cause of justice – and an uncompromising justice at that – is NYPD detective Andre Davis (Chadwick Boseman), his every fibre formed by the murder of his cop father years before.

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Following in his father’s footsteps into the police force, Davis has since earnt himself a reputation as a killer of cop killers. He’s even being forced to justify his actions as the film begins.

But Davis is the detective of choice when eight policemen are gunned down apparently in a drugs raid that has gone wrong. It’s not long before Davis is smelling all sorts of rats, and they smell thoroughly corrupt.

There is more to the slaughter than meets the eye, he senses, and Davis realises he’s much more likely to find out the truth if the tracks down the killers – before other cops get there first and silence them.

Tonight, Davis is asking questions first, shooting second. But time is against him.

The result, thanks partly to a running time which sensibly keeps it all trim and taught, is a thriller which will remind you of plenty of others – and yet still manages to catch something pretty original, particularly in its creation of Davis, an unswerving upholder of the law.

Boseman carries the character impressively.

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21 Bridges manages to be both dark and brooding while retaining more than enough pace as it twists and turns. Occasionally, it’s just a touch convoluted, but the sense of menace is nicely done – and the film’s grip on us doesn’t loosen.

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