21 Bridges (2019)

Brian Kirk directs Chadwick Boseman, Sienna Miller and J.K. Simmons in this police thriller where a trigger happy detective closes down Manhattan to catch a pair of cop killers… but what is the bigger picture?

I guess there is a whole generation to whom the words Serpico or Prince Of The City mean nothing. Will they be surprised by twists and turns this takes? Anyone with wrinkles knows the route this narrative flows along, recognises the scenery and the landmarks. This is Lumet-lite though, smoothed and gritless. Soft play urban corruption, set in a world that achingly does not exist outside each individual camera set-up. It is flat, it is slick, it is perfectly lit. As uninteresting as it’s lead actor, 21 Bridges is a film where characters literally idle in the foreground waiting for their line of exposition to click around, where stand-offs feel so preordained that we might as well just skip a chapter to the next location. There’s just no excitement or love or verisimilitude to this. A fine support cast and couple of thumpingly kinetic moments aside and you have baby food rather than spicy junk.


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