#REVIEW: “BLACK AND BLUE”
Review by Justin Waldman for Mr. Will Wong
Director Deon Taylor and Writer Peter A. Dowling team-up to bring audiences Black and Blue, a well-paced 108 minute Action Drama about one cops drive to do the right thing and make New Orleans a little safer, and clean the streets from corruption.
The Film focuses on vet-turned-rookie cop Alicia West (Naomie Harris) who ends up walking-in on a few cops, while wearing her body cam, led by Terry Malone (Frank Grillo) murdering drug dealers, to cover their own skin after the new mayor wants to crack down on corruption. One of the dealers whom she witnesses getting killed, happens to be the nephew of the kingpin of New Orleans, Darius (Mike Colter). The corrupt boys in blue are after West for that body cam footage, and Darius is under the impression that West is responsible for his nephew’s death so West is on the run for her life. When things get messy we tend to find ourselves in the most unlikely of allies, and that is exactly where West finds herself when she asks an old friend, Mouse (Tyrese Gibson) to help her stay alive and reveal the corruption. Can West stay alive long enough to get the footage back to the precinct?
What makes Black and Blue such an engaging watch, aside from the fast pace, is the performance that Naomie Harris brings to the table. This isn’t shocking if you know her fantastic body of work, but the raw emotion that is never in your face brings some a depth to her character and development that it brings a new aspect layer to the Movie itself. It has this politically-charged layer to it as well, something that makes Black and Blue more than just you standard good cop-trying-to-do-good-type movie, but something more impactful, while also being reminiscent of other films in the genre. Tyrese Gibson is also great as Mouse, the man whose just trying to live his life with the cards he’s been dealt but knows, despite everything telling him to lay low and mind his own business. Gibson delivers a passionate performance that we haven’t seen in a while. Mike Colter who usually plays a good guy, reverses his more well-known heroic type roles and plays the drug kingpin this time, while not really adding much to the Film. Frank Grillo plays the villain, a role he knows well, and once again it works for in Black and Blue.
Between Taylor and Dowling as well as dynamo performance from Harris with some great support from Gibson, Black and Blue is an engaging watch with some great action scenes and some sturdy suspense. We get a product that is entertaining and engaging, while simultaneously having moments that are politically-driven without being heavy-handed, it certainly makes Black and Blue a worthy watch.
Sony Pictures Canada releases BLACK AND BLUE in theatres on Friday October 25, 2019.