‘Black and Blue’ will make your day

Since going to your local movie theater is set on the pause button at the moment due to the coronavirus outbreak, many people have been forced to stay home and catch their entertainment pleasure on their television sets.

So that means flipping through all the latest cable network’s streaming services and checking to see which movie or TV show will quench our entertainment thirst.

If you’re in the mood to watch something that goes bump in the night with all the symbols and whistles that tend to come with an action drama, then the fast-paced Black and Blue, a hot crime thriller, is a great start.

The basic premise of the film is a simplistic one: a rookie cop (Alicia) played by Naomie Harris (Skyfall, Moonlight, No Time to Die) accidentally bumbles and stumbles her way unto a murder scene where several police officers execute a couple of young black hustlers in cold blood.

This sets off a chain of events where Harris’ character is basically on the run in New Orleans the entire film trying to survive what she had just witnessed. Alicia, of course, has a pretty difficult task ahead of her. First, she’s a newbie on the force as a rookie. The second strike against her is that she is black.

Tyrese Gibson (left) and Naomie Harris star in “Black and Blue.” Credit: Alan Markfield © 2019 CTMG, Inc. All Rights Reserved. ALL IMAGES ARE PROPERTY OF SONY PICTURES ENTERTAINMENT INC.

Finally, being a woman on a police force that filters in a male chauvinistic clubhouse atmosphere, Alicia knows she is behind the eight ball in trying to figure out how to navigate the waters of not being a snitch or bringing truth and justice to light about the well-executed killings she saw.

One of the victims of the crime just happens to be the son of a badass drug lord (Darius, played by Mike Colter). In between a rock and hard place, Alicia’s dilemma quickly becomes-right or wrong- hiding behind her blue family’s honor code and dismissing a ruthless criminal act or doing the right thing and telling it like it is to her superiors.

Choosing heart over peer pressure, Alicia’s journey to justice is all over the place and brings the movie watcher into a tailspin of unending pulse-checking moments. This is a good film to watch. It’s a fun ride. It moves fast. It also has a few problem-solving situations relating to issues involving the African American community and law enforcement.

First, are black men and women subject to more scrutiny as a peace officer as their white colleagues? Do black cops shrug off workplace bigotry and prejudices for the good of the community and keeping peace within their job kinfolk?

Is wearing a police uniform enough of a shield for black peace officers to keep them from being subjected to racial taunts and discriminatory practices or habits from other law enforcement personnel?

Well, shortly into the film, we see that theory go awash as Alicia is manhandled by fellow police officers as she jogs in the neighborhood she lives in. That little racial fracas sets the tone of what the movie will develop into. Culture loyalty or unapologetic allegiance to the badge? Alicia has a choice to make.

Naomie Harris
Naomie Harris stars as a New Orleans police officer uncovering corruption in her department in the suspense/thriller “Black and Blue.” Credit: Alan Markfield © 2019 CTMG, Inc. All Rights Reserved. **ALL IMAGES ARE PROPERTY OF SONY PICTURES ENTERTAINMENT INC.

Helping her make that decision is Mouse (Tyrese Gibson), who reluctantly becomes Alicia’s unofficial sidekick as she battles the wiles and wickedness of the crooked cops she is trying to bring down with a video recording of the murders.

Harris is frighteningly fantastic in her portrayal of the naive but fierce Alicia. Gibson (The Fast and the Furious franchise) is solid as Mouse. Black and Blue is a terrific movie to catch if you’re action thirsty. But one of the flaws of the film is that some of the scenes are a bit choppy and there are lines in the movie that sort of have no rhyme or reason.

This may have resulted in Rotten Tomatoes giving it a 52 score when Black and Blue made its theatrical debut in the fall of 2019. No doubt the Rotten Tomatoes score in all likelihood tempered Black and Blue’s impact at the box office. According to Box Office Mojo, Black and Blue grossed just over $22 million globally. That’s just $10 million off the budget of the film.

Despite this handicap, Black and Blue is a vastly underrated but well-received film (The audience rating on Rotten Tomatoes had a 93 percent approval of the film). So when you’re sitting at home (you have plenty of time to do that), chilling out on your sofa or lounge chair deciding how you want to be entertained, go to your On Demand channel and select Black and Blue from the movie catalog.

You won’t be disappointed. Although the good cop versus bad cop scenario is a bit dated and gets old, the filmmakers make it work in Black and Blue. The Freeman-Meter gives it an 85 percent rating.

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