Black and Blue is an action thriller directed by Deon Taylor from a screenplay by Peter A. Dowling. Unsure if I wanted to see this movie, I decided to go after a few family members told me they enjoyed it. The film follows a rookie police officer who goes on the run after she witnesses two corrupt police officers murder an informant/drug dealer. Usually not my cup of tea, but it was well done.
Black and Blue opens in the year 2019 when a U.S. Army veteran Alicia West (Naomie Harris) returns to her hometown in New Orleans. Now back, she is recruited into the city’s police department. Alicia is reminded by her new partner Officer Kevin Jennings (Reid Scott) about the differences of residing in the community where she grew up and being a police officer servicing that same neighborhood. The two officers seemed to have a relatively good relationship. Later that day, Kevin gets assigned to work night duty, paired with Officer Deacon Brown (James Moses Black) on a night he had planned a romantic date with his girl. Alicia sacrificed her evening and took Kevin’s place so he could go on his date.
**** SLIGHT SPOILERS BELOW ****
Officer Deacon, who was against Alicia working with him, drives to an abandoned warehouse and tells Alicia to wait for backup as he goes to investigate. While waiting in the car, Alicia hears gunshots coming from the warehouse, so she heads into the building, armed with a Glock pistol and a vest fitted with a body cam. There, she witnesses Deacon along with two obviously corrupt police officers, murder an unarmed drug dealer. The lead officer, Terry Malone (Frank Grillo), tries to explain the situation to Alicia but Officer Smitty (Beau Knapppanics) panics when he notices Alicia is wearing body cam. He instantly shoots Alicia, causing her to fall and crash through the partly open floorboards, landing her at least 30 feet below. When the police officers investigated the scene, Alicia was gone. And so, the chase began. A wounded Alicia tries to get help from the community but no one was willing to risk getting involved with a wounded police officer, except a reluctant old friend from school, Milo “Mouse” Jackson (Tyrese Gibson). And so the plot thickens!
I didn’t know what was going to make Black and Blue different from other movies in this genre. After seeing the film I think Black and Blue is different enough to recommend it to all you moviegoers. The film has a decent plot and an ideal cast playing the roles. The biggest issue I had with this movie was the Hollywood version of what a ghetto looks like. In this case, it was somewhat a disaster. I felt the environment was overdone and had a cheesy look about it. It wasn’t lively enough nor was there enough folks occupying the streets. Tyrese Gibson and Naomie Harris gave brilliant performances as did Frank Grillo, who practically stole the show. There was just the right amount of action and desperation of the corrupt police trying to get the body cam which held evidence against them. The excitement level eventually had you on the edge of your seat. “Black and Blue” was nicely done with an epic ending. I highly recommend the film. Check It Out!