Brooklyn’s Finest film review

 

Courtesy of Nu Image

Brooklyn’s Finest is the newest delivery from Training Day director Antoine Fuqua, which follows that contemporary idiom of following numerous stories that throughout appear unrelated until the ultimate climax. Films such as Paul Haggis Crash displayed this creative format and managed to successfully interlink all of the characters life s into a believable dichotomy. However the tag line for this film is simply This is Brooklyn, This is War , and with such premise we are presented with three very different police officers in the form of Richard Gere, Don Cheadle and Ethan Hawke, and follow the unique ways in which they tackle the crime epidemic within their city. The script was written by Michael C. Martin, a subway flagger from Brooklyn who successfully secured industry interest and saw Brooklyn s Finest venture forth to gain momentum at 2009 s Sundance Film Festival.

Antoine Fuqua took the director s chair in his first outing since 2007 s mediocre action flick Shooter, almost on the presumption of re-creating his masterpiece of 2001 s Training Day, or at least that is the feeling one gets when bearing witness to the same direction but just in different locations, (not helped at all with the casting of Ethan Hawke in more or less the same role as before). Additional support comes with the surprise return of the illustrious (tax troubled) Wesley Snipes, in a role that is acutely perfect for him. As Wesley provides the main support, the principal protagonists are equally shared with Richard Gere s seven days from retirement cop, who spends his spare time snorting coke and f*****g hookers aside from turning a blind eye to almost all crime around him and failing to show rookie cops any kind of guidance in the treacherous conditions of Axl Roses coined Jungle . Gere s said performance is especially memorable, as it marks a completely different direction to his previous incarnations.

Furthermore, Don Cheadle provides a very solid performance reminiscent of his in 2008 s stomper Traitor, in which he plays the good cop entangled in undercover operations with a daily taste of the very things he is secretly fighting against while simultaneously trying to balance the ruins of his once normal life and his allegiance to his street comrades. Ethan Hawke adds a further dimension with his every man character that is willing to take advantage of blood money in order to help his family and his mounting debts. Hawke, as always delivers a passionate portrayal but unfortunately not as convincing as his previous displays in Training Day or most notably in Before the Devil Knows You re Dead. However, a certainly sustainable enough delivery to add another slice of corruption to the films satirical and seedy nature.

Brooklyn s Finest unfortunately proves to be Brooklyn s ok-est. It draws great parallels on last year s Pride and Glory and previous Harsh Times, in its gritty look at the criminal under-belly. New York especially is an ever endearing climate for the investigation of criminal activity as L.A proves to be. The climax of which is although predictable, a very engaging piece of bloody adrenaline fuelled danger displayed on screen. There are certainly merits to both the direction, acting, story and it s no bull-sh** attitude in tackling notable issues of police corruption, reflecting a perhaps social critique of the real-life internal affairs dealings with certain police departments in recent years, and successfully tackles the notion of what it means to be a police-officer, that you have to break the law to uphold it and what moral connotations this evokes for society and its rules.

In conclusion, Brooklyn s Finest is by no means the masterpiece of its predecessors; however it is engaging enough to serve as a decent addition to the crime genre, which is ever expanding and enriched with all sources of dramatic, political, psychological, religious, philosophical, instinctual and social relevancy. It has its holes throughout and is by no means perfect, but is still sharp enough to command your attention and gut in its blood-soaked cynicism. A palatable and distinguishing average watch that serves as two hours well spent.

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