Film Reviews

BROOKLYN’S FINEST

By • Mar 10th, 2010 •

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Director Antoine Fuqua knows how to create unbearable tension.

BROOKLYN’S FINEST highlights three policemen working out of the same precinct who do not know each other: 22-year veteran Eddie (Richard Gere) who has seven days left on the job. He’s a mess: an alcoholic, friendless, and regarded as a cop who has been just going through the motions his entire career. No matter that his “beat” is in one of the most dangerous precincts in Brooklyn: His gun has no bullets in it. He does have a paid sex partner, Chantel (Shannon Kane). With Chantel, Eddie shows his sensitive side.

With the only sex scene in the film, one wonders if the screenplay was specifically designed to accommodate Gere.

Undercover cop Tango’s (Don Cheadle) handler, Lt. Bill Hobart (Will Patton) wants him to set up his best friend, drug dealer Cas (Wesley Snipes) who is fresh out of prison. Tango wants a promotion and a desk job. So to help alleviate Tango’s guilt over the betrayal, Federal Agent Chick-With-A-Dick Smith (Ellen Barkin) reads Tango the Riot Act with a roar and a snarl.

Finally there is Sal (Ethan Hawke) a wasted narcotics cop with a pregnant wife Angela (Lili Taylor) and five kids! He’s broke and Angela is sick with wood mold and is having twins! Sal looks like he’s a meth head, to boot. Sal is conflicted since he suffers from doubts about stealing drug money while killing everyone in his path with impunity! Sal doesn’t need to confess that to his priest.

None of these cops live in the world of rules, procedures, filling out forms, and bosses following their every move. And while Brooklyn drug dealing is filled with money and naked women ironing cash, they live in slum-dumps and no one bothers to investigate when they die in bloody shoot-outs.

The script by Michael C. Martin and Brad Caleb Kane is certainly a fantasy in its extreme depiction of dirty cops, but it is a tension-filled ride directed by Antoine Fuqua. Fugua knows his way with the gritty material. This is also his second cop film with Hawke who starred in TRAINING DAY with Denzel Washington.

Stars of Gere’s caliber are not directed; they are called to the set. He’s not the broken man he should be and he is still doing his fully funded and patented AMERICAN GIGOLO Ministry of Silly Walks cruise down East Brooklyn streets. It is hard to disguise Gere’s gym-trained body and still-handsome face. I did love his brilliant, moving work in UNFAITHFUL!

The highly-skilled cast does a great job and, if you want a teeth-clenching movie, I recommend BROOKLYN’S FINEST.

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