By Mr. Will Wong
On July 7, 2017, former Lance Corporal Bryan Brown-Easley (John Boyega) was shot to death after barricading himself inside a bank where he held two bank workers hostage, pretending to carry a bomb. After an honourable discharge from the Marines, he had been struggling to get by and after a payment of $892.34 he was due from the Department of Veteran Affairs was withheld after it was used to pay off a garnishment from a past college loan, he decided to take matters into his own hands. He wasn’t looking to take the bank’s money, he was looking for the money has was due and was willing to risk his life to make a statement.
Directed and written by Abi Damaris Corbin, 892 is a riveting recounting of the events leading to Brown-Easley‘s death, that day almost five years ago. Corbin gives us a sympathetic look at the PTSD, Schizophrenia and Paranoia our fallen hero was going through, resulting in his demise. We also get a sense of what Brown-Easley meant to others around him. We meet his ex-wife, the young daughter he left behind, a bank worker (Nicole Beharie) at his mercy, and an empathetic Chief in Eli Bernard (the late Michael Kenneth Williams in his final role) who also was a former veteran, trying to talk him off the ledge. The Film is tight, suspenseful but most importantly a tragic education about a broken system.
Boyega is unbelievable in this career-defining performance. He is driven, terrifying and at once raw and vulnerable, particularly in scenes with Brown-Easley‘s daughter, Kiah (London Covington) re-align us with a sense of his moral compass. This is sublime work we won’t soon stop talking about and comparisons to a younger Denzel Washington are unavoidable. We cannot wait for the world to witness this.
892 screens at Sundance as follows:
JANUARY 21, 2022 1:30 PM ET
JANUARY 23, 2022 10:00 AM ET