"Slightly Short of Greatness"
What You Need To Know:
BLACK AND BLUE is sometimes unrealistic, and the ending takes a rather silly turn. Still, the movie quality is very high, and the performances almost overshadow the script’s flaws. BLACK AND BLUE has a strong moral, redemptive worldview, with an emphasis on fighting for justice, truth, sacrifice, and doing the right thing. However, the amount of foul language and some of the violence in BLACK AND BLUE are excessive and ultimately unacceptable.
BLACK AND BLUE follows a rookie black police officer named Alicia West in New Orleans who finds herself fighting for justice and her life after seeing something not intended for her eyes. BLACK AND BLUE has a strong moral worldview with an emphasis on fighting for justice, truth, sacrifice, and doing the right thing, but the amount of foul language and the violence are excessive and ultimately unacceptable.
BLACK AND BLUE takes place in New Orleans, as rookie cop Alicia West begins her duties. After returning from time in the Army, Alicia’s been on the job for a few weeks, eager to help bring some order and justice to her hometown. The local law-abiding citizens don’t have faith in the police to do their jobs, and many people outright disrespect them.
One night, Alicia covers an extra shift on behalf of her partner, Kevin. Alicia greets veteran officer Deacon Brown with readiness. Later that same night, Deacon gets a phone call that leads them to an abandoned warehouse in a bad part of town. Deacon forcefully instructs her to stay in the car, and he leaves. However, after hearing multiple gunshots, she carefully makes her way around this warehouse searching for her fellow officer. Alicia turns the corner to see Officer Brown, as well as two narcotics officers, with their guns pointed at a young black man and some dead bodies around him. Alicia sees this last one pleaded with a man named Malone for his life. He swears that he won’t tell what he’s been doing, but Malone ignores him and shoots him in the head.
In shock, Alicia stumbles back, which attracts the attention of the others. Officer Brown yells at her for not staying in the car. Suddenly, she gets shot multiple times by the third officer, with her police body camera catching it all on film. Her bulletproof vest caught most of the bullets, but one grazed her side, leaving her wounded and bleeding. She falls through the floor to the ground level.
Alicia immediately assesses her situation. She gets up fast and looks for help. When she calls the dispatcher, Malone intercepts the call, informing them that she got “spooked”, and everything is under control. Suddenly, she’s on the run from these men, who want nothing else but the footage she has on her body camera and who consider her life to be only a liability.
Now, Alicia must get this footage back to the precinct to bring these crimes to light.
BLACK AND BLUE bears a striking resemblance to TRAINING DAY, the 2001 film starring Denzell Washington and Ethan Hawke. However, the script takes a more racially driven turn, with “Black” and “Blue” representing the opposing sides in the controversy between the police and black communities in the United States. In some parts, the script is unrealistic, and the ending takes a rather cheesy turn to an otherwise more intense story. Still, the movie quality is very high, and the performances almost overshadow the script’s flaws. As Officer West, Naomie Harris is excellent.
BLACK AND BLUE follows a primarily moral, redemptive worldview, with a fight for truth and justice being the overall theme, including a main character who’s willing to give her life to do what’s right. BLACK AND BLUE has some light Romantic, politically correct elements about injustice in the New Orleans Police Department, by both white and black officers, against the black community, but these elements aren’t overbearing or over the top. However, the movie does have a high amount of foul language, with some racial slurs. The violence is also rather extreme, with multiple shootouts, blood and hand to hand fighting. BLACK AND BLUE would be a much better, more acceptable movie without the frequent foul language and extreme violence, perhaps even one of the year’s better movies for mature audiences. As it stands now, however, MOVIEGUIDE® cannot recommend it. See our CONTENT section for more information.