"21 Bridges" has hit theaters and Chadwick Boseman is center stage starring as a policeman haunted by the death of his father in the line of duty, leading to him having a reputation based on having an itchy trigger finger. Boseman's character is the guy that the top brass call in when they need someone to enact revenge and spare families from the agony of "a trial, parole hearings for the next 20 years."

A film like this in the 1980s could have led to a franchise, but it's a strange starting point for a potential series in 2019. In a time of excessive use of police, can you still root for a mentality that frames the American city as a battleground between the good guys and the bad ones, free to shoot at each other with no concern for those in their paths.

'21 Bridges' delivers some serious curveballs

"21 Bridges," is named for the number of exits there are out of Manhattan, and when it's time for Boseman's NYPD Office Davis to hunt down two cop killers, he orders all bridges to be sealed off until the sun rises. The lockdown is in response to two robbers, who killed seven cops in a failed cocaine robbery. The bloodbath shakes the precinct captain, who allows Davis to bring them down, with no questions asked. The film sees an intense focus on how the law develops a thirst for revenge.

Once the story begins, "21 Bridges," director Brian Kirk and screenwriters Matthew Michael Carnahan and Adam Mervis throw the fans serious curveballs in the form of motives for the killers.

They're being used as pawns in a larger game, that will push Davis to rethink his role.

Boseman struggles as the antihero

Boseman struggles to play an antihero. He's better playing an authority role, be it Black Panther or Thurgood Marshall. It's difficult to get a good read on his character at the start, or what's really motivating him before he starts to doubt.

The set pieces seem cheap. The film struggles showing a rushed edit job, for example, the backstory of Davis, as well as the director's decision to cast Keith David David, in a role that only saw him utter two lines total. Stephen James was the standout role, as he attempts to escape an island that is being flooded by cops.

Unlike films being released this fall including "Black and Blue," "American Son," and "Queen & Slim," "21 Bridges," doesn't really focus on race. It also does not present an uncritical view of law enforcement. Lines are crossed, rights are violated and people die. This is a watchable action flick.

"21 Bridges," is being released by STX films and is rated R by the Motion Picture Association of America, for violence and language. The film has a running time of 100 minutes. After watching the movie, I give it two and a half stars out of four.