So Ken and I decided to watch another movie this week because gas prices are getting to high to actually drive anywhere and do anything of reasonable enjoyment outside film and Entertainment these days. This week we watch a Police Thriller with a supernatural twist. Today I am reviewing Body Cam a film pulled from the Big Screen, but found new life on Netflix.
Authored by Doc Comeau on Friday, April 1st, 2021 at 7:38 PM EST
All Photos from IMDb
Body Cam is the story of a dedicated police officer trying to drown away grief over the loss of her dead kid, by obsessing over her work. On her fight night back on the job she finds Body Cam footage of her former partner being killed by something unexplainable and she must investigate it on her own because nobody else saw the footage before it mysteriously is deleted. An investigation that uncovers that reality mat not be all that it appears to be.
Body Cam was directed by Malik Vitthal, a man I must admit I am not very familiar with. This was the first film of his I have seen and I have mixed feelings about it. He is also responsible for 2009's "Watts and Volts" 2014's "Imperial Dreams," 2021's "The Year of the Everlasting Storm."
Body Cam Stars actress, composer and producer Mary J. Blige. Blige Stars as Officer Renee Smith. A woman who recently lost her son and must work the night shift on one truly unusual night.
Nat Wolff joins Blidge as rookie cop Danny Hollege. Hollege is assigned as Renee's new partner who is eager to get on the job. An eagerness that vanishes as soon as the night gets interesting.
Together they must track down Teneesha Branz portrayed by Anika Noni Rose. A woman that is the pair's only lead. A lead only Renee seems to be interested in as the rest of the force wants to bury the case and her partner seems nervous about going off the books.
Rotten Tomatoes Scores
Netflix's Body Cam is perhaps the most interesting Rotten Tomatoes rating I have ever seen. It contains a Critic Consensus that is as usual found below, but it doesn't have a Criric or Audience Score as of writing this movie review. Not sure how there can be a consensus among zero reviews. Rotten Tomatoes needs to explain this one.
I had to come back to edit this section. Upon looking at Rotton Tomatoes on the desktop rather than my phone the scores were present. Not sure what happened on my phone earlier, but the film sits at "44%" on the Tomatometer out of "27 reviews" and a "36%" Audience Score out of 100+ reviews. I am glad I came back to archive the page.
CRITICS CONSENSUS: Ambitious yet undercooked, Body Cam can't quite connect the dots between its genre thrills and socially aware themes.
Body Cam was a much better movie than the last film I reviewed which was a hot bag of garbage. It was an interesting take on a Supernatural Monster hunt and Police Crime Drama a blend that you wouldn't think work well together, but the film pulls it off miraculously. If either of the two elements were presented on their own as they are designed in this film they would not stand on its own. It was an average film. I would recommend watching if you are not looking forward to anything else, but there is probably something else. I give Body Cam a 5.4 out 10.
I must warn anyone that is new to my reviews that from here on out I will not be avoiding Spoilers and you should continue accordingly. I know some of you do and some of you don't enjoy that sort of thing. This makes it easier to accommodate both factions of film lovers
It was an average film. I would recommend watching if you are not looking forward to anything else, but there is probably something else. I give Body Cam a 5.4 out 10 - Doc Comeau
Story and Screenplay
Body Cam is the story of a mother mourning the loss of her son by throwing herself into her job. During her first night back on the job since the tragedy she responds to help her former partner with an unusual traffic stop. Upon arriving on the scene, Renee finds her partner dead and upon viewing the Body Cam footage she is disturbed by watching her former partner get ripped into the sky by something she could not identify.
Despite opposition from some of her fellow officers Renee decides to track down the woman in the footage only she was able to see before it mysteriously erased itself. An investigation that reveals a conspiracy to cover up an unjustified police killing and the ghost of the former victim traveling the city looking for revenge. Renee must try to bring her fellow officers in for trial and stop anyone else from getting killed.
The story of Body Cam was an interesting one and combined the supernatural element of the woman's dead son and the crime drama elements of apprehending crooked cops. I was sure it would work as I previously mentioned, but the two worked perfectly well together. I would say the story is slightly above average for its uniqueness, but both elements could have been written much better. I gave the story of Body Cam a 5 out of 10.
I would say the story is slightly above average for its uniqueness, but both elements could have been written much better. I gave the story of Body Cam a 7 out of 10. - Doc Comeau
Performance and Dialogue
The performances in this movie were perhaps its strongest element. Every actor or actress from those mentioned above to the other officers in the film did a phenomenal job bringing the film together. Though the film focused heavily on Blige and Wolff so we will do the same thing here.
Blige, who I did not recognize until I started writing this review was the star at the top if this tree. She did an excellent job showing the emotion of a woman struggling with post traumatic stress, struggling with performing on the job while trying to figure out if she is going insane with the events that are unfolding. Without her I don't think this movie would do as well. You could see the emotion in her struggling with the death of her son and partner, her new partner's suicide, the strange murders and the corruption if her friends and coworkers.
Wolff expertly portrayed a head strong rookie cop that thinks she is prepared for anything. He also had the range to go from headstrong and sure to nervous and suicidal as Blige gets closer to the truth of his involvement in the cover up. I have never seen the actor before now or at least his name doesn't come to mind, but I am interested in checking out some of his other works. I give this section of the film a 8 out 10. The performances were strong, even if the CGI was off and the story was average.
I give this section of the film a 8 out 10. The performances were strong, even if the CGI was off and the story was average.- Doc Comeau
This was the worst part of the film. The scene cuts were average at best and the CGI of the dead kid returned for revenge was horrible. B movie horrible at best and stood out among the A quality camera work. The creature barely works within the film it stands out so bad.
I love when films stand out among their peers, when the director and camera crew try something very unique, breathtaking or ambitious with their shots and this movie contained none of that. I would give this section of the film a 5 out of 10, but I had to downgrade it to a 3 because the supernatural element's CGI felt subpar.
I would give this section of the film a 5 out of 10, but I had to downgrade it to a 3 because the supernatural element's CGI felt subpar. - Doc Comeau
Body Cam was your average film. It did what it did well, well and it did what it did horrible, horrible. In the end, I wouldn't tell you to avoid this movie, but I would not recommend you watch it either. Though if you have nothing else to watch it will do in a pinch.
1) IMDb.com. (2020, May 18). Body cam. IMDb. Retrieved April 1, 2022, from https://www.imdb.com/title/tt8179024/
Archived At; https://archive.ph/1SyFm
2) Body cam. Rotten Tomatoes. (n.d.). Retrieved April 1, 2022, from https://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/body_cam
Archived At; https://archive.ph/NWago
3) Blige, M. J., Wolff, N., & Rose, A. N. (2020). Body Cam. BET Films.