Review by: Christopher Haskell
July 9, 2010
“Brooklyn’s Finest” follows the lives of three different New York cops all working in the same corruption. All three men are asked to make decisions, professionally and personally, that end up risking their lives.
Richard Gere plays the straight up patrol cop on the brink of retirement. The contrasts between he and the newcomers he is forced with provide for exciting moments in the film. The first rookie wants to save everyone no matter the consequence, while the second rookie just wants to prove himself, and does that by accidentally shooting his gun off in a non-threatening situation. Gere proves to be the one honest part of the film and the actions that occur following his retirement prove as such.
Don Cheadle portrays an undercover cop, working close with Wesley Snipes, the head of a gang, who has just been released from jail. The chemistry works well with Cheadle and Snipes as fraternal brothers, especially in scenes like the bar where they first are reconnected and the rooftop where Snipes is about to shoot the snitch, who in reality is Cheadle. Wesley Snipes, however, is not the biggest part of the film contrary to what the trailers would have you believe, and this is proved by the anticlimactic send off he receives. Cheadle’s rampage afterward is one of the few things worth watching the film for.
Ethan Hawke returns to director Antoina Fugua (“Training Day”) as the third cop. Hawke’s character has money problems with a wife and kids and is looking for an easy buck wherever he can. His character comes off as the deepest especially in scenes where you see him contemplating whether to pocket the drug money splayed out on a table in front of him in an empty room.
Three completely different stories, yet Antoine Fugua does an excellent job of tying them together, especially in the grand finale of stitching the three final battles into a mesh of damnation. The “shining light” sequences following the end of each story is cinematography at its best.
Obviously, having directed “Training Day,” Antoine Fugua knows what he is doing. “Brooklyn’s Finest,” however, is just not my type of film and never truly engaged my attention. For a film with little to no depth, where everything is on the surface, “Brooklyn’s Finest” does have a great cast and interesting story, just not good enough to be memorable.
March 5, 2010
Michael C. Martin
(for bloody violence throughout, strong sexuality, nudity, drug content and pervasive language)