Black and Blue Movie Ending Explained (In Detail)

Spoilers Alert:

From the hunter to the hunted – in the cop thriller BLACK AND BLUE One day, a tough policewoman becomes the living target of her colleagues. The result is a straightforward genre thriller with weaknesses. We reveal what these are in our review.

Half the police department, including her colleague Terry (Frank Grillo), is after her…

The plot summary

Junior police officer Alicia (Naomie Harris) is new to her job and is viewed extremely critically by her predominantly male and white colleagues. One day she accidentally records the murder of a young drug dealer with her body camera. When she realizes that the murder was committed by corrupt police officers, she teams up with the only person in her neighborhood willing to help her: the sympathetic but suspicious supermarket owner Milo (Tyrese Gibson), who has experienced this many times himself had to find out what it’s like to end up in the hands of the police through no fault of your own. Now Alicia not only has to escape her police colleagues, who want to destroy the incriminating material by any means possible, but also the drug dealer’s criminal friends who are out for revenge, because the cops have told the Detroit underworld that it wasn’t she, but Alicia who carried out the murder committed…

Black and Blue Movie Meaning & ending

Police uniforms in the USA vary greatly from state to state. In most of them, however, the color blue has prevailed. This is also the case in New Orleans, where director Deon Taylor (“The Intruder”) has his politically colored cop thriller “Black and Blue” set. The film title cannot (only) be derived from the fact that the film relies on a color scheme consisting of black and blue, especially in night scenes. Screenwriter Peter A. Dowling (“Flightplan – Without a Trace”) uses his fifth script for a feature film primarily to make a statement against police arbitrariness and violence against black citizens. “Black” here primarily stands for the skin color of the protagonist Alicia, who in the course of the 108 minutes of the film has to face at least once directly (and several times subliminally) the question of what once motivated her to slip into a blue police uniform as a black person – “ “Black and Blue”. A film couldn’t present its concerns more clearly. But that is not the main criticism of a production that contains enormous anger precisely because of the clear formulation of its accusation. First and foremost, Taylor simply relies on common staging pieces from thriller cinema. And unfortunately they wear out over time, which doesn’t mean that “Black and Blue” isn’t damn exciting right up to the very last second.

Police rookie Alicia (Naomie Harris) has no idea what’s about to happen to her…

“Black and Blue” begins directly with a scene in which Alicia, jogging without uniform and in a hoodie, is stopped and searched by two patrol officers – she would look similar to a suspect in a criminal case. It’s not particularly subtle and even with the noble cause on which the makers base their film, this one scene really wouldn’t have been needed if everything that followed didn’t draw enough attention to the racism against white people that is prevalent, especially in cities like Detroit Blacks and the resulting destroyed relationship of trust in the police. But Deon Taylor takes no prisoners in this regard. The focus of his film right from the start is Alicia, who as a so-called “rookie” (newcomer) first has to get used to the sometimes very rough customs in her own ranks. They don’t really take her seriously and her older colleagues in particular are critical of the attitude of a black woman, which Taylor repeatedly captures in small snapshots such as derogatory comments or looks. Especially in its early stages, “Black and Blue” is less of an action thriller and more of a drama about Alicia’s everyday police life. It is only from the moment the young woman accidentally witnesses a murder and is discovered by her (corrupt) colleagues that not only does the noose around her neck begin to tighten, but the pace of the film also changes.

This is also accompanied by the gradually opening narrative focus; initially very intimate and always very close to Alicia, we gradually take in the entanglements that take place around her. At first there are only her violent colleagues. The one who pulls the trigger becomes more and more until eventually the entire Detroit police force appears to be riddled with corrupt cops. In the second half, the plot also involves the Detroit underworld consisting of drug dealers and violent criminals, who begin the hunt for Alicia. The first hour is particularly exciting, in which the film focuses on the fact that an entire city district has a single woman cornered and not only does she not know where to hide because she is not given shelter anywhere with a uniform ( a very smart reason why Alicia doesn’t just hide in some house and get help from there!). She simply doesn’t know who she can trust in this situation and thus joins forces with another victim of police arbitrariness. Even in this very symbolic act, Deon Taylor doesn’t exactly follow subtle lines. But it works both in terms of content and in terms of message: because the more often the makers repeat scenes of the indiscriminate exercise of power on black people and they are allowed to describe their experiences with the authorities, the more you become aware of the extent of such real problems – and memories of them are tonally perfect “The Hate U Give”, which can be positioned differently but is no less clear in terms of content, wakes up.

What Taylor probably also hoped would “work” are the many directorial clichés that “Black and Blue” uses, especially in the second half. The excessive use of slow motion, the motif of “suddenly saving someone from a shootout at the last moment” or the appearance of the flashy drug lords take a little bit of focus away from all the things that otherwise leave a much better impression. This is especially true for Naomie Harris (“Moonlight”), who, especially in the first half of “Black and Blue,” is forced to carry the film entirely on her shoulders. She doesn’t just turn her role into an idealist fighting against all odds, but also gives the embodiment of the insecure rookie just as much room to develop. This makes Alicia West an absolutely relatable protagonist who always leaves us wondering what the viewer would do in her situation. Some of their decisions are obviously intended to drive the plot and are only partially based on logic, but in other moments the script provides some clever reasons for why the characters are not acting as they might at first glance be. Unfortunately, this doesn’t apply to the monotonous final act, but there is at least another scene with Tyrese Gibson (“Fast & Furious 8”) particularly stands out. If he steals away in a police uniform and is not recognized by his own “colleagues”, it is a remarkably subtle comment on the fact that they probably do not recognize him simply because black people all look the same in his eyes…

Conclusion: Accusation of racism meets cop thriller – and it works surprisingly well most of the time. Only when the genre clichés take over in the second half of “Black and Blue” does the film lose credibility and tension.

“Black and Blue” can be seen in USA cinemas from November 14th.

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