Jon Bernthal puts his touch of madness in We Own this City and impresses at Series Mania [critique]

We Own This City
HBO

David Simon’s new creation puts a slap in the face, without seeking to revolutionize the genre.

It is one of the great masters of the American small screen who launched the official competition of Series Mania 2022. Two years after his historic dystopia, The Plot Against America, david simon returns to his first love and crime drama. We Own this City takes us back to the streets of Baltimore, like a sequel to TheWire who does not say his name.

Except that this is a true story. It’s 2017 and the city of Maryland is just emerging from a shocking tragedy: a few months earlier, 25-year-old Freddie Gray was killed in a brutal arrest, sparking violent riots throughout the city. town. A permanent tension between the police and the inhabitants now paralyzes this highly precarious metropolis. An electrical context that did not yet exist in this way at the time of TheWire and which Simon tackles head-on here, with his friend Georges Pelecanostargeting the local police and their brutality, their shenanigans, a completely dysfunctional system.

In the light of the murder of George Floyd – which will occur three years later, a few thousand kilometers away (in Minnesota) – We Own this City takes on a whole new dimension. Without being afraid to hit where it hurts, the series puts its finger on the powder keg by meticulously describing the backstage of this system of corruption and racketeering organized by an elite unit of Baltimore. Going back and forth in time, Simon and Pellecanos describe how everything went wrong, with obvious rage.

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Jon Bernthal, once again phenomenal, infuses all its animal madness into this barely believable political and social scandal. the old Punisher is completely inhabited as a limitless cop, who no longer has any awareness of anything. A role to his measure, for a tortuous criminal series, moreover a bit classic on the form, which hardly takes any risk at the bottom. Without revolutionizing his art, david simon does what he knows how to do. But he does it so well.

We Own This City will be released in France on OCS from April 26.

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