HOLLYWOOD—This was a movie that I was quite eager to see because I felt its ability to tackle a serious issue involving police officers and the community is so important. I mean you have an Oscar-nominated actress in Naomie Harris as the star, so that is plenty of pull, but the problem is the script is not as strong as the acting delivered from its star.

The film stars Harris as Officer Alicia West. West has an interesting back story as she is an Army Veteran. She returns to her hometown of New Orleans where she is recruited by the police department. West soon discovers that when she places that uniform on, she is perceived as a different person to those in the community she grew up in. This is a story point that I felt could have been seriously extracted even more than what the movie touched on.

It was as if writer Peter A. Dowling briefly hinted at its importance and immediately discarded it to focus on the action-thriller element, instead of that dramatic focal point. It is no secret that many people in the community fear the police or don’t have a strong relationship with their police department. Some would argue that relationship is tenuous in a vast majority of African-American communities.

“Black and Blue” has an interesting premise people: an African-American officer who is seen an traitor of sorts to her community because she dawns that uniform where the goal is to serve and protect, when some already feel too oppressed. Why that juicy element was omitted I cannot explain, but it hurts the dramatic punch the movie could have delivered to audiences.

The movie soon becomes what we’ve seen time and time in cinema about dirty cops running amuck and that one honest cop looking to do all in his or her power to bring those cops down. In some instances you could compare “Black and Blue” to “Training Day,” but that narrative really focuses on a fantastic villain in Denzel Washington’s character. We don’t really get that here, but Frank Grillo does the best he can as Officer Terry Malone. Grillo is known for portraying villainous characters or tough guy cops. It would be nice to see a bit more range from the actor.

It becomes a race against time for Alicia to make her way back to the police station with that body cam footage to expose those dirty cops and prevent herself from dying in the line of duty. While shun by most in the community, Alicia finds an ally in Milo (Tyrese Gibson), who decides to assist her in her mission. From there is your expected cat-and-mouse tale, with plenty of gunfire, plenty of intense chases on foot and in police cruisers that entertains the audience, but offers nothing original not seen before in cinema.