Spoilers can’t handle the truth.
The scariest thing about crime thriller adaptations is when they don’t need to exaggerate. Reality can be messy and seldom clean, but I can’t deny the fact this show is captivating. The crime itself is revolting, the wheels of justice seem to take ages to turn and yet you’re in it for all the trials and tribulations of characters on both sides of the law. This is one that works better the less you know about it, so I’d start watching if it feels like your thing. If you need more convincing, go on ahead.
Black Bird (2022) was developed by Dennis Lehane. James Keene (Taron Egerton) is captured for drug dealing and his sentence becomes elongated due to firearms possession. With his father “Big Jim” Keene (Ray Liotta) possibly not surviving long enough, Jimmy decides to take a rather strange deal in which he will be transferred to an even more dangerous prison. His objective is to befriend suspected serial killer Larry Hall (Paul Walter Hauser) to find the location of eighteen female victims.
While we follow the rough life inside the big house as the show’s primary focus, we do also get to see Brian Millar (Greg Kinnear) and Lauren McCauley (Sepideh Moafi) as the investigators pursuing Larry’s case. Both the investigators as well as Jimmy seem to have a common hurdle. They’re both dealing with a very slow system in which things not only seem to take forever, they are often obstructed because of one or two individuals that can’t be bothered to do their jobs. Jimmy will have to make dangerous alliances to keep people at bay. On the other hand, Larry Hall will make your skin crawl. He’s not someone you’d call scary, but just off in the worst possible way.
Strongly recommended with slight reservations. As crime thrillers go, I found the stakes were properly set high from the start with our main character assuming an almost impossible risk. The performances are excellent and the story is one that you want to see through from beginning to end. Paul Walter Hauser’s performance of Larry Hall is so creepy I did need to switch to something else from time to time. Worth a watch for fans of real crime adaptations, as well as newcomers to the genre.
That will do for now.