By Jack Rico
‘Brooklyn’s Finest’ is a very good film that brings together some wonderfully gritty acting, an engrossing storyline and a riveting ending. There are some twists that you’ll enjoy and overall it’ll remind you of films such as ‘Crash’ and ‘Serpico’.
The plot goes like this – three Brooklyn cops who work at the same precinct wind up at the same deadly location after their personal problems converge them there.
Kudos to the comeback kid Ethan Hawke, who continues to deliver powerful, intense and captivating performances. One of my favorites from him is ‘Before The Devil Know’s You’re Dead’ from legendary director Sydney Lumet. Just a wonderful small film that didn’t get much play in 2007. He now reunites with helmer Antoine Fuqua from their days in ‘Training Day’ to deliver an impressive and fervent interpretation of a cop doing anything to provide for his family.
The rest of the cast, Don Cheadle, Wesley Snipes and Ellen Barkin also delivered magnificent performances as well. Wesley Snipes, who hasn’t been in much of note in nearly a decade, settles into this role as if he was born for it. And Ellen Barkin is unforgettable as the foul-mouthed, tough-as-nails FBI agent who makes life hell for Tango. I don’t mention Richard Gere because I thought he was the weakest link. His range is limited in these fiery films and what’s worse, he plays the same guy in every movie. Romantic dramas like his ‘Nights in Rodanthe’ or ‘An Officer and A Gentleman’ are a better fit.
Outside of the great acting the film does dribble into some typical police cliches, such as the dirty cop attending confession or undercover officers agonizing over turning against a friend they’ve made in the hood. These scenes are here, but they don’t distract you or make you say, ‘WTF, again!?’. It fits well with their characters and it didn’t bother me at all, I doubt it will for you.
Ultimately, it’s all about being entertained and taken to a world you submerge for two hours to then came back satisfied. ‘Brooklyn’s Finest’ does that and in a fine way.
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