Writer: Reinaldo Marcus Green (Screenplay)
Starring: John David Washington, Anthony Ramos, Kelvin Harrison Jr, Chante Adams, Jasmine Cephas Jones, Nicole Beharie, Rob Morgan
Plot: The aftermath of a police killing of a black man, told through the eyes of the bystander who filmed the act, an African-American police officer and a high-school baseball phenom inspired to take a stand.
Tagline – One moment can change everything
Runtime: 1 Hour 36 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Verdict: Has a Point, Fails to Capture It
Story: Monsters and Men starts when Manny (Ramos) witnesses and records a police shooting on one of his street corners, he has just put his life back in order with a job, preparing to have everything ready for his girlfriend and daughter, only he gets framed for a crime he never commits. Officer Dennis (Washington) has been on the force for a while now, he sees this happening, while having questions against the cop that was involved in the shooting he doesn’t want to step in until he knows the truth, we finally meets Zyrick (Harrison Jr) a young baseball star of the future that ends up finding himself the latest target of the cops, this time Dennis is going to take a stand.
Thoughts on Monsters and Men
Characters – Dennis is a African American cop that has always kept his head down on the job, he has experienced the problems off duty, when he starts to think everything is going too far, he starts to question where he stand on what is going on. Manny is a young man that has just turned his life around, he films a wrongful killing and after he released the footage, becomes targeted by the cops himself, without standing a chance to fight back. Zyrick is going to become a mega star in baseball, he is caught in between trying to take a stand or follow his own future away from the troubles.
Performances – We do have three strong performances in the film with John David Washington, Anthony Ramos and Kelvin Harrison Jr all giving us everything we need from their performances in the film.
Story – The story here follows three different point of views which have experienced police brutality from different backgrounds and how they are left feeling helpless about what is happening. This does show us the important problems going on with police action towards minorities in America, we get to see how even the people on the force can’t do anything without being seen as an enemy. The problem with the story comes with how the three stories don’t seem to have any true connections, with each one playing out just after the previous one finishes, instead of standing up, they are almost just three occurrences that have happened.
Crime – The crime side of this film focuses on the action that are taken towards the innocent people and how that will affect their lives.
Settings – The film is set in a city where you can see the clear divide between race, authorities and money, which will see different levels of discrimination going on towards people.
Scene of the Movie – Dennis argues his case to a family friend.
Final Thoughts – This is a film that wants to bring the message about police brutality towards minorities, only for it to not connect the stories well enough.
Overall: Unconnected Hate Crimes.