Photo Courtesy of The New York Times
Story by Bryanna Weinstein/Contributing Writer
A new action thriller entitled “Black and Blue” premiered in the U.S. last night. Alicia West (Naomie Harris) plays an army veteran and rookie cop in New Orleans who accidentally films body cam footage that incriminates her corrupt fellow officers.
On the run from gang members with vengeance who think she’s murdered one of their own and cops that want to keep her quiet, Alicia finds a partner in Milo Jackson, also known as Mouse (Tyrese Gibson).
The movie is a fast-paced action thriller as advertised. However, it also manages to make commentary on both sides of a tense debate between the police and the black community in which they serve.
The film blends quiet moments, brief comedic moments and action-filled moments, giving you time to connect to the characters and hate the villains. There’s an open hostility shown to cops in the film from the black community and every encounter is nail-biting and very real. The “us versus them” mentality is clearly shown as Alicia tries to instill change in the police force against pushback from her own community.
This leads us to the supporting cast of characters, who were a tad bit generic, but do represent real struggles in communities of color such as gang violence and police brutality. The fear of police often brings brave or fearless individuals to tears, as shown in one scene involving an encounter a character had with corrupt officers.
Our antagonists are as despicable as they come but are symbolic of the mindset of some officers that exist on police forces.
Every minute on screen with Alicia, you root for her even as she’s ferociously beating one of the antagonists. You feel the same dread that she does, the same sadness and the same triumph. You also root for Milo, who is at first her reluctant partner but in the end is her saving grace.
For its 1 hour and 48 minute runtime, everything is well-paced without info dumping us in the first five minutes. We are slowly brought into the world of Alicia West and how she navigates her life as a police officer while being an officer of color. Hence the title, she dances on the line of being black and blue.
This is a film that is very much needed to start a discussion about what black communities face, what corrupt officers in a police force do and what cops like Alicia do to make a difference when faced with officers like that.
If you’re in need of a good action thriller, “Black and Blue” is definitely something to check out.
To contact Lifestyles Editor Brandon Black, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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