Wednesday, December 04, 2019

Black and Blue (2019)

Sometimes, a simple story is good.  Stick to one thing and do it well.  Other times, not so much.  A simple story might not be able to support a grand idea.  Take Black and Blue.  The movie centers on Alicia West.  She’s new to the New Orleans police force and is still maybe a little naïve.  (She has no problem wearing a body camera.)

The story starts when her partner, Kevin, is called to pull a double shift.  He needs the night off to be with his family, so Alicia agrees to cover.  She’s sent out with Deacon Brown, an officer who does have a problem with body cameras.  During their shift together, Deacon and Alicia stop by an abandoned warehouse.

Alicia is told to stay in the police car.  Even if you hadn’t seen the coming attractions, you know what happens next.  She has to get out of the car and wanders into the warehouse, only to witness a murder.  The rest of the movie is Alicia trying to get back to the precinct to upload the video on her body camera.  It turns out that the shooter was another police officer.  Alicia is framed for the shooting and has to find support among a community that isn’t very accepting of police officers.

Black and Blue was directed by Deon Taylor, who also directed The Intruder.  I find I had the same problem with both movies:  They were a little too simple.  I found that I was watching a movie that was taking too long.  The script, such as it is, can’t support the 1:48 running time.

This isn’t to say it should have been shorter.  It’s just that the movie came off as a little repetitive at points.  We constantly see that the people won’t help her, but we’re not shown why beyond one line of dialogue.  The police don’t go out to that area because it’s so far gone.  That’s not really explored in the movie.

Instead, it’s all about Alicia being hunted down by the police and not being accepted by the community.  (In a cliché move, she can’t even trust her partner.)  She’s on the run and has no reasonable expectation of finding a place to hide.  She’s not fully a police officer and she’s not really a member of the community.

There aren’t a lot of surprises.  It’s almost like a paint-by-numbers movie in its predictability.  If you’ve seen the trailers, you can probably predict how the movie will unfold.


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