The theme of police action in eradicating crime has been very often worked on by Hollywood both in wide screen format and in the format of TV series and reality shows, if you search on Google hundreds of titles will easily be found. The purpose of the films with the theme of eradicating crime by the police is not only to provide an overview of the duties of law enforcement officers but also to show the conditions faced by these police officers on a daily basis in the field. This time, we are presented with the theme again by Hollywood with the film 21 Bridges with the theme of robbery crimes involving a conspiracy by corrupt police officers. When the film was announced and the trailer appeared, the public cheered because many big names were involved in this crime-action-drama film, starting from the producers who were none other than Joe and Antonny Russo and the participation of Chadwick Boseman as the main character of this film. Boseman’s presence seems to be a refresher after our minds are invaded by his role as Black Panther in Marvel films. The film also features Sienna Miller (American Sniper, The Lost City of Z), JK Simmons (Juno, Whiplash), Taylor Kitsch (Battleship, X-Men), Keith David (The Chronicles of Riddick, Agnt Cody Banks), and newcomer actor Stephan James. 21 Bridges is directed by Brian Kirk (Brian is the director for the TV series including several episodes of Game of Thrones, Botherhood, and The Tudors).

Two former military and recidivist robbers, Michael Trujillo (Stephan James) and Ray Jackson (Taylor Kitsch) take a job robbing 30 kg of cocaine from a winery. However, when they carried out the robbery, they were surprised because the amount exceeded the information provided, which was 300 kg and chaos ensued when suddenly the police came to the refinery who was passing by. A gunfight is unavoidable and Ray kills all the cops who come. Michael and Ray rushed off with as much cocaine as they could carry. Michael panics and blames Ray for causing them to be in a serious situation and trouble. Not long after, Andre Davis (Chadwick Boseman) came to the scene and was assigned to handle the case. Andre is an NYPD detective who has a reputation for killing criminals who don’t hesitate to kill police officers in self-defense, this is quite influenced by the death of his father while on duty. Frankie Burns (Sienna Miller) from the narcotics division is also involved as Andre’s partner because of the connection of this case to drugs. The arrival of two FBI agents Butchco (Obi Abili) and Dugan (Andy Truschinski) sparks conflict with Davis and Burns because they want to take over the case. With Davis’ dexterity, he persuades deputy major Spencer (Keith David), members of the FBI, and local police chief Mckenna (JK Simmons) to give them until 5:00 in the morning before New York gets back to work. The request was granted and as a first step Davis asked that all access out of Manhattan be closed (Manhattan is an island of the five cities that make up New York). There are 21 connecting bridges in and out of Manhattan. With limited time, Davis and Burns must race against time to catch the criminals and uncover the oddities that Burns discovered from his investigations at the winery.

Actually there is nothing too special in this film, the storyline is cliché and predictable because it has been used in similar films. The use of the geographical factor of the city of Manhattan is not explored in detail as well as the film Patriots Day (Mark Wahlberg) which uses the setting of the city of Boston for the pursuit and arrest of terrorists. The unique aspect of the city of Manhattan practically only functions as a title and is used as the initial “kickstart” of the film which indicates the pursuit process begins, the rest of us will be brought in a chase around the city of Manhattan. The savior of this film is none other than the presence of Chadwick Boseman who is arguably the “life” in this film and the chase action scenes that are quite tense throughout the film. With a duration of 99 minutes, fortunately this film is not too long-winded and focuses directly on action but unfortunately for the conclusion it is a bit forced and hasty for a film whose main selling point is on the chase action. Another weakness is that Davis’ personal conflict is never shown in the film because he is always in a safe position in the sense that he is never in a dilemmatic position that tests his integrity as a law enforcement officer and is almost never seriously injured. The twist element contained in the film is predictable when entering the middle of the film and is not so surprising when the audience is given the facts of what actually happened at the end of the film. Another weakness is that Davis’ personal conflict is never shown in the film because he is always in a safe position in the sense that he is never in a dilemmatic position that tests his integrity as a law enforcement officer and is almost never seriously injured. The twist element contained in the film is predictable when entering the middle of the film and is not so surprising when the audience is given the facts of what actually happened at the end of the film. Another weakness is that Davis’ personal conflict is never shown in the film because he is always in a safe position in the sense that he is never in a dilemmatic position that tests his integrity as a law enforcement officer and is almost never seriously injured. The twist element contained in the film is predictable when entering the middle of the film and is not so surprising when the audience is given the facts of what actually happened at the end of the film.

Chadwick excels as a charismatic detective who has high integrity but has problems with Interpol due to his actions in catching criminals. Our minds may still be quite attached to his image as T’Challa the Black Panther but here he is able to dispel that image and show another side of himself as a hero detective who has authority through his actions and words. There are no other characters that stand out so much, Sienna Miller and JK Simons don’t seem to be given enough room for their character development. Likewise, the antagonist character for Kitsch even though Stefan James has a little dynamic and looks promising in his acting. For the cinematography itself,

21 Bridges did not succeed in bringing up moral issues and facts that often occur in the police. Kirk as a director seems to only focus on the action aspect and ignores the message he wants to convey through this film’s story. The description of the task of the police who have to deal with the problem of corruption, drug smuggling conspiracy related to the level of their remuneration of wages is not discussed in depth in the story of this film. In fact, the conflict the main character often faces regarding the shooting at the end of the day is more of a narrative and debate than a scene that is able to touch the emotions of the audience. Even though all these moral conflicts can be very interesting aspects to enrich the film’s story.