Black and Blue (2019 film)
|Black and Blue|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Deon Taylor|
|Written by||Peter A. Dowling|
|Music by||Geoff Zanelli|
|Edited by||Peck Prior|
|Distributed by||Sony Pictures Releasing|
|Box office||$22.7 million|
Black and Blue is a 2019 American action thriller film directed by Deon Taylor from a screenplay by Peter A. Dowling. The film stars Naomie Harris, Tyrese Gibson, Frank Grillo, Mike Colter, Reid Scott, and Beau Knapp, and follows a rookie police officer who goes on the run after she witnesses a murder.
The film had its world premiere at the Urbanworld Film Festival on September 21, 2019 and was released in North America on October 25, 2019, by Screen Gems.
This article needs an improved plot summary. (October 2019)
U.S. Army veteran Alicia West (Naomie Harris) returns to her hometown in New Orleans where she is recruited into the city's police department. Alicia is reminded by her new partner Kevin Jennings (Reid Scott) about the differences of residing in the community she grew up in and the police department.
In order for Jennings to get home to date night with his wife, West takes his place in a double shift with another member of the force, Brown. He gets a call in the middle of their shift and they head over to meet with his CI in an abandoned building where he tells her to wait in the car. Alicia hears gunfire coming from the building where Brown went in and heads over, armed with a Glock pistol and a vest fitted with a body camera. There, Alicia witnesses detective Terry Malone (Frank Grillo) and his men murder an unarmed drug dealer. When Malone attempts to explain away the situation to her, the other, Smitty (Beau Knapp), panics upon seeing Alicia's body cam and shoots at her, causing Alicia to fall through the floor onto the ground below.
A wounded Alicia escapes while she is being tracked by Malone and his men. When a fellow police officer arrives, Alicia realizes they are working with Malone, forcing her to hide out in the store of Milo Jackson (Tyrese Gibson), a member of the community who is reluctant to hide her. She tries to get help from her partner, Jennings, but she finds out that he is one of the cohorts and she runs away from him. Meanwhile, Malone blames West for the shooting and manipulates criminal kingpin Darius into putting out an open bounty on West because one of the kids that Malone murdered was Darius' nephew. While recovering in Milo's home, Alicia has a gun pointed at her head by Missy's son. Alicia then learns that Darius put out a bounty on her and that the whole community is tracking her down. Alicia manages to escape, but a wounded Milo is left behind and is captured by Darius. Darius tortures Milo, but Milo refuses to divulge where to find Alicia. Alicia records herself and hides her body cam in an abandoned house. Alicia then exposes herself where Darius does business. She convinces Darius that she has proof that Malone killed Darius' nephew. One of Darius' henchman hacks into Alicia's body cam where the footage is downloaded, and after viewing the footage Darius is convinced that Malone is his nephew's real killer. Malone and his enforcers arrive to track down Alicia; during the ensuing chaos, Darius is killed by Malone, and Brown is killed by Smitty, who is in turn killed by West. West gives the body camera to Milo so that he can sneak into the police station and upload the footage, while she stays and tries to outrun Malone, who is trying to kill her.
There is a standoff between Malone and West with the whole black community looking on. When West gets the upper hand, other police officers arrive and tell her to put down the gun. At the same time, the captain gets the footage and radios SRT to get them to stand down and tells them that West is innocent. Malone tries one last time to kill her, pretending she has a gun, but her partner, Jennings, shoots him in the chest and incapacitates him.
Malone is arrested and West's name is cleared, earning her the respect of her fellow police officers, as well as the community.
- Naomie Harris as Alicia West
- Tyrese Gibson as Milo "Mouse" Jackson
- Frank Grillo as Terry Malone
- Mike Colter as Darius Tureau
- Reid Scott as Kevin Jennings
- Beau Knapp as Smitty
- Nafessa Williams as Missy
- James Moses Black as Deacon Brown
- Frankie Smith as Tez
- Carsyn Taylor as Jamal
In August 2017, it was announced Screen Gems had acquired Peter A. Dowling's spec script Exposure, and Sean Sorensen will produce the film under his Royal Viking Entertainment banner. In August 2018, it was announced Deon Taylor would direct the film, and Roxanne Avent will serve as an executive producer under her Hidden Empire Film Group banner. In December 2018, Naomie Harris joined the cast of the film, which was retitled from Exposure to Black and Blue. In January 2019, Frank Grillo, Reid Scott, Tyrese Gibson, Beau Knapp, Mike Colter and Nafessa Williams joined the cast of the film. In March 2019, James Moses Black joined the cast of the film. In April 2019, Frankie Smith joined the cast of the film.
Principal photography began on January 16, 2019, and concluded on February 28, 2019. The movie was shot using CineAlta cameras, Sony α7S II and Sony Xperia 1 smartphones. All these devices are marketed and manufactured by Sony, the parent company of Sony Pictures and Screen Gems.
Black and Blue had its world premiere at the Urbanworld Film Festival on September 21, 2019. It was released on October 25, 2019. It was previously scheduled to be released on September 20, 2019.
In the United States and Canada, Black and Blue was released alongside The Current War and Countdown, and was projected to gross $8–11 million from 2,062 theaters in its opening weekend. It made $3.1 million on its first day, including $675,000 from Thursday night previews. It went on to debut to $8.3 million, finishing sixth; social media monitor RelishMix said the low figure was blamed on audiences being "bored with this type of cop thriller". In its second weekend the film fell 50% to $4.1 million, finishing eighth.
On review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 51% and an average rating of 5.4/10, based on 92 reviews. The site's critics consensus reads, "Black and Blue is elevated by Naomie Harris' central performance, even if the end result suffers from a simplistic treatment of topical themes." On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 54 out of 100, based on 23 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews." Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film a grade of "A-" on an A+ to F scale, while those surveyed at PostTrak gave it an overall positive score of 80%, including an average 4 out of 5 stars.
Candice Frederick of TheWrap wrote, "Black and Blue is chock-full of heart-pounding car chases and suspenseful moments that are certain to entertain mainstream audiences, but the film falters when it attempts, beyond its title to reflect a necessary and under-discussed conversation about societal issues."
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