21 Bridges Movie Review: Chadwick Boseman’s Star Power Can’t Elevate Predictable Cop Thriller

How many bridges connect Manhattan to the rest of the world?

21 Bridges (NC16)

Starring Chadwick Boseman, JK Simmons, Sienna Miller

Directed by Brian Kirk

The title refers to the number of viaducts that connect Manhattan Island to the outside world. It’s here at the heart of the New York City, Chadwick Boseman’s excessive force-prone NYPD detective Andre Davis is leading a massive manhunt for two perps (Taylor Kitsch and Stephen James) behind a bloody cocaine heist.

Davis gets the greenlight from the top to close the abovementioned bridges (and subway tunnels) to prevent the persons of interest from fleeing Manhattan. But he only has four hours to do so before the culprits scattered in the wind. Unbeknownst to Davis, he’s also stumbled upon a conspiracy involving dirty cops. Dun-dun-dun!   

Boseman reunites with his Captain America: Civil War directors Joe and Anthony Russo (serving as EPs here) in a thriller that, according to the production notes, promises “an intriguing mix of spectacle, propulsive and non-stop action, an epic ‘ticking clock’ crime story.” I regret to inform that that’s all — all — BS, of course.

Despite his regal screen presence, Boseman can’t always jumpstart this dour, featherweight Michael Mann-ish policier; there’s only do so much he can do with an underwritten role. Imagine the movie as a muscle car but with the crappy engine of a lawn mower; no matter how fast it’s moving, you’ll see it coming at every turn.   

Oh well, at least now I know that there are 21 bridges linking Manhattan City to the rest of New York City. Fascinating piece of factoid in a not-so-fascinating movie. (**)

Photo: STX Films/Golden Village

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