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‘Black and Blue’ Shoots to Thrill

By Mark Burger for Yes! Weekly – At first glance, Black and Blue appears to be a standard-issue urban shoot-’em-up, but screenwriter Peter A. Dowling and director Deon Taylor incorporate some topicality to the proceedings that bear a bit more examination that it might seemingly warrant.

Alicia West (Naomie Harris) is a rookie cop in New Orleans. She grew up there, then joined the Army and saw action in Afghanistan. Now she’s back home and trying to do her part for the community, but as she is advised early on, the badge makes her an outsider. It’s not about black. It’s not about white. It’s about blue, and she’s blue. She may be there to help, but some residents don’t want her help. They don’t trust the police. They don’t want her, or her blue brethren, around – at all.

On what seems a routine patrol, Alicia fulfills the cinematic hero’s dilemma of being in the wrong place at the wrong time, as she witnesses a corrupt narcotics detective (lean, mean Frank Grillo) and other officers killing three drug dealers in cold blood. When they see Alicia, they try to kill her, too – but she barely manages to escape, and she’s recorded the crime on her body camera.

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