Blue Lives Matter. Police Brutality. Headlines about cops shooting unarmed suspects. These words and phrases come up far to often these days. No matter where it is that your beliefs stand when it comes to police, it is safe to say that there is a lot of controversy out there and a lot of change that needs to happen for everyone to feel safe out there.
Black and Blue came out in 2019 and takes a strong stance on the subject, and I applaud it for what it does.
Following rookie cop Alicia West in the New Orleans police force, Black and Blue starts out with a gut punch almost immediately. Before we even know who she is, West is stopped and harassed while she is out on a jog in her own neighborhood but a couple of complete asshole cops. The reason they stop her? Well she happens to look like someone she is on the lookout for. The real reason they stop her? She is a black woman in a nice neighborhood. That is, of course, after the cops shove her into a metal fence and tell her to stay out of their neighborhood. If this scene sounds uncomfortable, prepare yourself for what is to come, because it doesn’t get much easier to take.
West takes an extra night shift, to let her partner go out on his date night, but while on this shift, her temporary partner takes a detour and, one thing leads to another, and West catches several cops executing some gang members on her body cam. When she is noticed, they turn the gun towards her and attempt to kill her.
After a narrow escape, West ends up on a hopeless journey through the roughest of rough neighborhoods as she must get her body cam back to the police station – all while dodging dirty cops and the murdered gang members’ crew, who believe she is the killer.
Throughout this film you really feel for West, she’s a black female cop who doesn’t fit in anywhere, and she’s constantly trying to do the right thing. One of the things that is done best in this movie is the tension and unease that you experience as the viewer. While this is obviously the worst case scenario and a dramatization of the stereotypical bad cops, you still get a good hard look at something that could happen in America – and that is a tough pill to swallow.
The pacing and acting in this movie were both great. West is played by Naomie Watts who does a great job in a very tough role. Similarly, Tyrese Gibson, who plays a friend of West who helps her navigate the hoods she is stuck in is also very convincing and excellent in his role.
Overall, Black and Blue is a tense movie with a lot of action and one that gives the viewer a good hard look at a very real problem in the world today – even if it is a little bit on the unbelievable side of things (I find it real hard to believe that so many corrupt cops could be operating so obviously throughout this series of events, but hey, it’s a movie).
Give Black and Blue a watch. It’s worth it.
Visually speaking, Black and Blue looks fantastic in 1080p, especially considering how much of this film is in dark or shady areas. There was definitely noise present during those scenes, but it was never distracting. One note, however, is that with greater resolution, comes greater scrutiny of cg effects. Most people probably will never notice, but some of the blood spatter from gun shots was a bit iffy. But otherwise, this was looking great.
Similarly, the 5.1 channel surround track was real good here. With all of the gun shots, shouting, and action scenes, there was plenty to enjoy from all directions. The soundtrack is a bit generic sounding, which was unfortunate, but otherwise this will not disappoint.
This release comes with a slipcover, Blu-ray and Digital Copy, as well as the following special features:
- Line and Fire – A short cast and crew discussion on the action of the film.
- Be the Change in the Big City – Being the change is sort of the theme of the film, and in this short clip, shooting in New Orleans is discussed.
- Deleted Scenes
Our Recommendation for Black and Blue:
Black and Blue is a timely film, which tackles a lot of tough subjects in one go – including race, gender, and the police. It has a lot of action and is definitely entertaining if you can stomach the social commentary. I would definitely give this a recommendation.