Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Brooklyn's Finest - DVD Review


Starring Richard Gere, Don Cheadle, Ethan Hawke, Wesley Snipes, Will Patton, Ellen Barkin, Lili Taylor, Brian F. O'Byrne, Michael K. Williams, Jesse Williams and Vincent D'Onofrio.
Directed by Antoine Fuqua.

If you've seen Training Day, Dark Blue, Deep Cover, or any corrupt-cop movie in the past 40 years, you've seen Brooklyn's Finest. The appeal then is just watching a different set of actors go through familiar motions.

It's an ensemble piece that focusses on three different, very loosely connected cops. So loose that I don't think any gets more than ten seconds of screen-time shared with another. Richard Gere is the beat cop who has one week until retirement. Don Cheadle is the undercover cop who's been under so long he's starting to lose his grip on his own humanity. Ethan Hawke is the detective struggling with the temptation to pocket drug money from their busts with his bills stacking up.

There are so many cliches in the movie that it has fun with it. It sets up about twelve cliched plot turns but only follows eight of them, while the other four just evaporate. It gets pretty violent, and director Antoine Fuqua has a fetish for blood splattering on the wall. In fact, it got to where any time a character was standing near a wall, I figured he wasn't long for this world.

The performances are all fine, especially Hawke as the cop at the end of his rope. It's also nice to see Snipes in a movie that didn't go straight to DVD. It all builds to an allegedly powerful climax but th impact isn't there, maybe because it feels so inevitable.

No comments: