IT can take a long time to be an overnight success in Hollywood. Take Chadwick Boseman, the star of crime actioner 21 Bridges. Age 41, his imdb credits stretch back to the early noughties.

He had a fairly consistent run of work, turning in notable performances in biopics of baseball player Jackie Robinson, the music legend James Brown, and lawyer turned Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall.

But nothing really lit the blue touch paper, career-wise. Until, that is, an opportunity came up to play the part of Black Panther in some little franchise or other. Avengers? Heard of it? Last instalment made almost $3 billion? The Black Panther movie alone made $1.3 billion. That sort of success brings an actor choices.

So it is that Boseman is now front and centre of movie billboards with his name writ large above the title. Good for him, but how is the film? Er, now about that ...

Boseman plays NYPD detective Andre Davis. We first meet him as a teenager attending the funeral of his policeman father.

Cut to a couple of decades on and Andre is attending an internal affairs meeting. With a reputation as a “trigger”, a cop known for his tendency to use his gun, he is explaining how his latest shooting was justified.

From there the tale switches to a couple of wrong ‘uns (Taylor Kitsch and Stephan James) intent on robbing a restaurant. While they are leaving, several police officers turn up. A shoot-out and bloodbath ensues, with the robbers able to flee the scene.

Davis, spurred on by the loss of so many of his colleagues, promises results. Believing the perpetrators will try to leave Manhattan asap, he gives the order to close all 21 bridges and put the island on lockdown till sun up. The city that supposedly never sleeps is going to be up all night as Davis, with fellow cops (Sienna Miller, JK Simmons), hunt the missing duo.

The screenplay is your bog-standard, against the clock crime drama, and you will hardly need the combined skills of Columbo and Sherlock Holmes to predict how events will play out. Adding to the low rent vibe is a blaring score that pokes the viewer in the chest every time there is a supposedly dramatic development that you have not seen coming a mile off.

Simmons and Miller, the latter having a very good year stateside after American Woman, are not given enough to do bar spout the odd line of cliched dialogue. Which leaves Boseman. Fortunately for this otherwise lacklustre thriller he has charisma to burn and manages to drag the piece up several notches every time he appears. Now that, ladies and gentlemen, is a star.