Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Brooklyn's Finest (2010)

Posted on 9:01 AM by Paolo

'Brooklyn's Finest' Review
By Paolo Sardinas
Within the first fifteen to twenty minutes you can begin to tell that this film, 'Brooklyn's Finest', is pretty much going nowhere. The opening scene, featuring Vincent D'Onofrio as a washed up drug dealer and Ethan Hawke crooked cop sitting in car. The film's main theme is thrown around, "There is no right and wrong, just righter and wronger". Antoin Fuqua's last attempt at a tale o crooked cops was back in 2001 with Training Day and since then Fuqua has done pretty much nothing but flops. Fuqua's obviously in his own realm here, his comfort zone, but we, the viewers, aren't.

The film takes place in gritty Brooklyn, obviously, and tells he tale of three cops whose lives intertwine more than they know. The first being Richard Gere's
 Eddie. A cop whose a week from retirement and couldn't give a damn less about things. He wakes up every morning with his typical swish of booze and the thought of blowing his head open. He's constantly ridiculed and mocked by his fellow officers who find Eddie, much like his young new partner, a mess. He's just going with the flow until he can get out and romancing with a prostitute he regularly visits played by Shannon Kane. You do get the hint that there is more between Gere and his friend, intypical Gere fashion.

Ethan Hawke plays Sal. A detective whose deep into religion and has four kids with two on the way and a house thats infested with mold. He's the first one to go in during all of the drug stings and is always the first one to find the cash, cash that he needs to support his family. Don Cheadle plays the third intersecting character Clarence/Tango, a cop who has gone undercover and managed to infiltrate one of the biggest drug trades in the projects and has created a brotherly bond with main gangster Casanova "Chaz" Phillips played by Wesley Snipes
. Their relationship conflicts Tango who has a real ball-breaker on him played by Ellen Barkin. A couple of conflicted cops who attempt to pave a way through life while also getting their hands a bit dirty. 
Cheadle does well in his role. Maybe a little too well. His undercover cop is played with strong emotion and dedication to the job while also being conflicted as to whether or not he's gotten too far in. The role suits him unlike our other conflicted cop Eddie. Richard Gere, in my opinion, doesn't suit the role of the suicidal, booze drinking, soon to be ex-cop. It simply doesn't fit the mold to deliver a performance that can elevate this character to its full conflicted possibilities. Throughout the film we never feel as if we should feel bad for him and hate him. Whether or not to revel in his pain, something that was all too abundant in Fuqua's Training Day but is left out from most of Brooklyn's Finest
Fuqua's film moves quick, it doesn't take the time to sit you down and explain the whole ordeal. Chopped up and delivered to you on a silver platter. The script, written by a former transit worker named Michael C. Martin. The films falls to its over the top and way too obvious cliches one too many times. Fuqua seems to have been more interested in showing the bloody sequences take take place throughout the film rather than actually developing his characters and taking a hard look into true justice. The ending seemed like a clash of all of the film's cliches and over the top theatrics and accomplishes absolutely nothing by its tragedies.

Another actor
 that appears is Lili Taylor who plays Hawke's wife. But the little screen time that is given too her doesn't help to reinforce the relationship that her Hawke's character share together. The interplay is done well but ultimately feels forced. What saves the film, in all, are the performances of the actors. When the script goes flat, which is most of the time, the actors pick up again. Especially Cheadle with his slow burning performance. And while Gere is mis casted the rest of the film isn't. All-in-all, Antoine Fuqua's entertaining but ultimately over the top 'Brooklyn's Finest' is a complex film that never reaches its potential due to its abundance of typical cop film cliches.
Grade: C

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