review by Bobby Blakey
With all that is been going on in regards to the police brutality situation in the country it is no surprise that there have been numerous films tackling the subject. Some have been taking more creative approaches to the subject with interesting results. The latest, Body Cam stars Mary J. Blige, Nat Wolff, Anika Noni Rose, and David Zayas brings a supernatural element to the story, but does it work to offer up a strong and interesting story or should it be booked on charges?
Body Cam follows a routine traffic stop that results in the unexplained, grisly death of an officer and his partner who realizes footage of the incident will play for her eyes only. As the attacks mount, she races to understand the supernatural force behind them. I knew from the description the simple premise of the film, but didn’t get that it was going to be so far left field into the supernatural element. It’s an interesting twist to the subject matter that is both hit and miss.
The idea of the body cam is a great element that I expected to take into a more found footage direction, but thankfully it does not. It is featured prominently into the story and used, but serves more as the ongoing catalyst for the investigation and mystery. They use the footage to some clever effect as well as the real life craziness of the supernatural aspect. To this end they bring some pretty fun kill moments that are bloody at times, but never too far over the top.
Mary J. Blige does a good job in the role bringing a tortured nature to her own emotional being as she struggles to find out the truth. There are some lagging elements in the story with too many sub-stories for me as it moves along. They are necessary to a lot of the overall elements, but felt they often slowed the pace and lost some of its tension. This doesn’t make it a bad movie, just not as effective as it might have been with some trimming of the extra stuff.
In the end I enjoyed what they did here and applaud them for still tackling this subject matter effectively without trying to be preachy and instead make a genre film with the message injected naturally. Decide for yourself with Body Cam available now on digital and DVD from Paramount Home Entertainment.