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Brooklyn's Finest

Action & Adventure movie directed by Antoine Fuqua

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A Flawed But Commanding, Intense And Convincing Police Drama..

  • Jul 21, 2010
Rating:
+3
For me, Antoine Fuqua is a director who hit one homerun with “Training Day”; afterwards, his movies never did hit the kind of critical acclaim that “Training Day” had achieved. Yep, his movies such as "Tears of the Sun" and “Shooter” never really hit critical acclaim but I cannot deny that at least respected the effort put into them. I have to say that most of Fuqua’s films were never perfect, even some were mediocre but I most of them do carry the Fuqua signature and that is a gritty, intense watch that portrays the dark moody underworld.

Three of New York City’s cops are at the end of their rope. Sal (Ethan Hawke) is a struggling cop who has a family and a pregnant wife (Lili Taylor) who is suffering from mold poisoning. Sal is considering stealing evidence to help sustain his family’s needs but such an action would put his career in jeopardy. Eddie (Richard Gere) is a cop about 7 days from retirement; he is emotionally distressed that he contemplates suicide and his only outlet is the attentions of a prostitute. Tango (Don Cheadle) is an undercover cop so deep into his assignment that he has become a drug lord. He becomes torn between his oath and his own sense of honor when he is asked to turn in his criminal companion (Wesley Snipes) by his superiors (Ellen Barkin and Will Patton). Three cops, three different lives, three different problems one possible fate.

                     Don Cheadle as Tango and Wesley Snipes as Caz in "Brooklyn's Finest."

                   Jesse Williams as Quinlan and Richard Gere as Eddie in "Brooklyn's Finest."

“Brooklyn’s Finest” is a flawed motion picture; but I cannot deny its ambition and just how it defines itself as a cop drama. The screenplay by Michael C. Martin isn’t original, that strongly established that confused-tired police man who is at the end of his rope. The problems encountered by our three protagonists are pretty derivative; we’ve seen all of these issues before in other movies. But what makes those cop formulas work is the fact that the direction does manage to inject that sharp-bare-bones intensity that portrays the characters as being trapped between the badge and their own sense of duty. Fuqua does manage to take the characters to the thin line between breaking the law and following their duty.

                Don Cheadle as Tango and Wesley Snipes as Caz in "Brooklyn's Finest."

The language in the film is pretty edgy and full of profanity, it is an intense script that borders on intertwining stories of emotional baggage. True, some had its missteps but I thought it was nice to leave some information for the imagination. Eddie is a cop that seems to just want to stay ‘safe’, survive and retire; he is not the type of cop who gets medals and is obviously depressed. His reasons for contemplating suicide isn’t clear but in a way, you can see that his life is a hollow one. Sal is a cop whose duties as a cop seem to hamper his duties as a family man. He tries his best to be honorable, do his job and yet, his best is not enough. Tango is a cop who becomes too close to his mark that his it confuses his own sense of loyalty. These cops are caught in a professional obligation that seems to have gotten them stuck. All these characters are looking for an escape and a release from the unhappiness that has plagued their lives.

                Richard Gere as Eddie and Shannon Kane as Chantal in "Brooklyn's Finest."

               Ethan Hawke as Sal and Lili Taylor as Angela in "Brooklyn's Finest."

I guess the film lacks some much needed details since the viewer is sent 7 days before the film’s climax. The film is flawed and the dilemmas faced by our three main characters aren’t special nor original but it is very well-acted. Don Cheadle is a great actor and this role just cements this reputation. Gere is a veteran actor so he is at home in this police drama. Ethan Hawke may not be the best actor on the list, but this role fits his personality. I suppose one can overlook its flaws and appreciate the film for its intensity and bold introspection. The direction is pretty steady and calls upon the tone, mood and style reminiscent of other cop films by Scorsese and Friedkin. He does manage to generate suspense as it hit’s the right mood piece; the film feels and looks like a tale of moral decay and the collapse of reality. But amid all this, there lies hope, as one can see that it is desperate hopelessness that actually fuels it.

Antoine Fuqua’s “Brooklyn’s Finest” is not going to be one of those truly memorable cop dramas but admittedly, it had ambition and was never empty. I suppose the narrative never reached the top of its goals and never really reached its destination; but the film is to be respected for the effort put through for fulfilling a story that intertwines three men who may be fated for the same destiny. Fuqua maintains control and develops maturity with focus that he keeps up the thrills to express a gripping impression with its substance.

Recommended! [3 ½ Out of 5 Stars]













                   
A Flawed Yet Commanding And Convincing Police Drama..

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July 21, 2010
I think Antoine Fuqua is one of the best directors out there, I have enjoyed all of his films as far as I can remember. I do own this but still need to watch it, excellent review WP.
July 21, 2010
Thanks, Alex! Hey did you check out Adrianna's review of GROWN UPS?
 
July 21, 2010
I had high hopes because of the great cast, but I've not heard much good about the film itself. In fact, yours is the most favorable review that I've seen.
July 21, 2010
I know--that cast was the main reason why I rented this one. This was derivative, unoriginal but I have to say that the direction manages to be seedy, dark and intense. I liked it but not as much as I would've hoped.
 
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More Brooklyn's Finest (2010 movie) reviews
review by . September 16, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Caption
  In my eyes, Antoine Fuqua is a one hit wonder, much like Carl Douglas’ song "Kung-Fu Fighting.” Fuqua's one hit wonder  and his career making film "Training Day" established Fuqua as a possible rising star  amongst directors thanks to in part of his film  being nominated for two academy awards   Denzel Washington won his second Oscar for his over the top portrayal of a mad dog  rogue cop in Fuqua's breakout film. Sadly "Training …
review by . August 13, 2010
Mid-life crisis affects cop and crook alike.
Brooklyn's Finest is a grim film directed by Antoine Fuqua and stars Richard Gere, Don Cheadle and Ethan Hawke as three cops who are suffering through mid-life crises.  Officer Eddie (Richard Gere) is only a few days from retirement,  Detective Sal (Ethan Hawke) is a cop who has a lot on his plate (big family, sick wife and house) and Clarence (Don Cheadle) an undercover cop who's about to betray his best friend Caz (Wesley Snipes) a freely released jailbird who's also at a …
Quick Tip by . July 19, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Portrays the problems of cops in regards to their psychological state and life issues. Antoine Fuqua's film is quite ambitious but a little predictable at some areas, it missed some needed impact in the narrative. 3.5 out of 5 Stars.
review by . July 08, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
BROOKLYN'S FINEST as written by Michael C. Martin and directed by Antoine Fuqua ('Training Day', 'Shooter') provides an intense study of the live of three Brooklyn policemen and details how they are all on the brink of being burned out by the grisly requirements of their work in one of the most crime infested areas in the country. Richard Gere is Eddie, a veteran cop with seven days to go before retirement who is assigned to a couple of Rookies to be a role model: Eddie's only moments of tranquility …
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Stills from Brooklyn's Finest (Click for larger image)



































































































Brooklyn's Finest is a 2010 American crime film starring Richard GereDon CheadleEthan Hawke, and Wesley Snipes. It is directed byAntoine Fuqua, and written by Michael C. Martin, a one-time subway flagger from East New York.[2] It was the first film to sell at the 2009Sundance Film Festival, for a sales price of "under 5 million dollars."[3] The film was released in North America on March 5, 2010.

Plot:
The film takes place within the notoriously rough Brownsville section of Brooklyn and especially within the Van Dyke housing projects in theNYPD's sixty-fifth precinct. Three policemen struggle with the sometimes fine line between right and wrong.
The opening scene shows two men sitting in a parked car having a conversation, the man in the drivers seat, Carlo (Vincent D'Onofrio) is then shot unexpectedly in the face by the passenger (revealed to be Sal) who then robs Carlo and runs off.
Detective Salvatore "Sal" Procida (Ethan Hawke), desperate for money to feed and house his rapidly growing family, has started pocketing the money left on the table during drug raids. Deeply religious, he finds that he's in the bad place of trying to reconcile his misdeeds with his needs. The mold ...
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Details

Director: Antoine Fuqua
Genre: Drama
Release Date: March 05, 2010
MPAA Rating: R
Runtime: 2hrs 5min
Studio: Overture Films/Anchor Bay Entertainment
First to Review
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