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PRIME FILM REVIEW: 21 BRIDGES (15) ESP RATING: 3.5/5

ESP’s film critic Gavin Miller can’t head to the cinema so instead he’s enjoying his popcorn on the couch and brings you his verdict on what’s streaming on the small screen instead…

Chadwick Boseman gets his first ‘proper’ solo movie vehicle outside of his Marvel Black Panther roles – and does a decent job in this gritty cop film throwback.

He stars as embattled NYPD detective Andre Davis – whose father was a former police officer murdered in the line of duty – who is thrust into a citywide manhunt for a pair of cop killers, but there’s more to this night than meets the eye when he uncovers a massive conspiracy, in this action-drama produced by the directors of the last two Avengers films, The Russo Brothers.

When police are called to a restaurant in Brooklyn, armed thieves – Taylor Kitsch’s (John Carter) Ray and Stephan James’ (Selma) Michael – are already inside trying to steal cocaine, but they’ve stumbled onto a bigger stash than originally thought.

Once they’ve realised they’ve bitten off more than they can chew, they kill eight officers in the prevailing shoot-out, and gung-ho cop Davis is brought in to track them down. And when he realises they’ve been located in Manhattan, as it’s the middle of the night, he gets the go-ahead to close all 21 bridges in and out of the island to make sure the killers don’t escape – and has until 5am to get the job done.

From the outside he seems to be the perfect candidate (with a reputation that has already seen him end up in front of Internal Affairs multiple times) with the captain of the fallen officers – Oscar-winner JK Simmons’ (Whiplash) McKenna – baying for blood, and he’s thrown a narcotics cop side-kick in the form of British actress Sienna Miller’s Frankie Burns (American Sniper) for good measure.

But what seems initially like the ‘meat’ of the film is actually simply a hors d’oeuvre to a wider plot twist – and that’s what takes this above the genre norm, particularly with solid performances all round from the noteworthy cast.

With it ending its brief home release rental run after its limited cinematic release at the end of last year, it has just become free on Amazon Prime for subscribers – as it’s one of their original films – and while it doesn’t pull up any trees, it still builds enough successful bridges via Boseman and co to be a competent isolation watch.

ESP Rating: 3.5/5

Gavin Miller

Cast: Chadwick Boseman, Sienna Miller, Stephan James, Jk Simmons, Keith David, Alexander Siddig & Taylor Kitsch

Running Time: 1 Hr 39 Mins

Director: Brian Kirk

Legend

Written by ESP Magazine

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