- Don Ford
Don Reviews "Black and Blue"
Police shootings has been a hot bed issue for the last couple years, with a couple of high profile cases where I live in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. There are different opinions, all across the spectrum, but one thing Hollywood has to do sometimes is be careful on what is produced, especially when fictionalizing stories based on these issues. That being said:
“Black and Blue” is the new film directed by Deon Taylor (Traffik). With a cast that includes Naomie Harris (Moonlight), Mike Colter (Luke Cage), Frank Grillo (The Grey), Reid Scott (Veep), Tyrese Gibson (Furious 7), Nafessa Williams (Black Lightning), and James Moses Black (Cut Off), it takes place in New Orleans with rookie cop and veteran Alicia West (Harris). Already building a rapport with her regular partner, Kevin (Scott), she decides to take on an extra shift after the next shift is short with Deacon Brown (Black). Deacon makes a stop at an abandoned factory and tells Alicia to wait in the car, but she hears shots and goes into the factory investigate where she sees Deacon and two other officers kill three drug dealers and has it on her body cam. Once the others realize that Alicia witnessed the shootings, the try to kill her so their ring will not be exposed. Alicia goes on the run to survive in order to get the footage to the right officials so the corruption can be exposed.
In short, the film showed New Orleans in a good way and the sets hit the mood of the film, but the acting overall was just “there”. Basically, after the first scene the film started to worry me, and form that point on, I hated it. Since I have a “law enforcement” background, I do take certain things personal sometimes, and this film does horrible stereotyping racially, even right off the bat with Alicia just out jogging in a nice neighborhood and gets stopped and harassed by two white officers for no reason. What I got from this film is the feeling that all of the police officers in New Orleans are dirty except the Alicia (who reminded me of the character of Officer David Buress from the 2003 “SWAT” remake and that she could truly do no wrong) and the captain, by the way is also an African American female, and drug deals and kingpins as the only good people in society.
The story itself is very predictable, which bored me very quickly with a suspension of disbelief in this film that also is horrible. There were things done by officers and the police force in general that would never happen, even in the poorest neighbor hoods and don’t get me started on the stereotyping of the neighborhoods. I saw so many of the “surprise plot twists” coming a mile away that the two hours watching this film along with the time it took to type this review and recording the audio is time I will never get back. Given recent history, this film will not help in trying to bridge gaps between the police and the people. I know I am not the intended demographic for “Black and Blue,” but there many films that I have praised in the past in this category, and this just seemed like a bad version of “Training Day”. There is no way I can recommend or will ever see this film again, and I am also making the “Maze Runner” promise that this film WILL make my bottom ten worst of the year!