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In Brooklyn, amid drug deals, violence, casual racism, poverty, housing projects, and corrupt cops, we follow three officers: Tango, African-American, working undercover, believing he's earned a promotion to a desk job but told he has to set up the bust of an ex-con who saved his life; Sal, who'll commit murder to get cash to buy a house big enough for his family; and, Eddie, the precinct's oldest beat cop, a week to go before retirement, assigned to mentor an earnest rookie. Can this end well for any of the three? Written by
Written by Isaac Hayes and Al Bell (as Alvertis Isbell)
Performed by Isaac Hayes
Courtesy of Fantasy Records
By Arrangement with Concord Music Group Inc. See more »
A competent cop flick, but it is not something very memorable
The police corruption has been a recurrent subject in cinema from its beginnings.Classic films such as Scarface (1932) or The Asphalt Jungle reported the reality of the cops who are seduced by the easy way of crime, betraying the trust from the people and the law they swore to protect.However, in that times, the corrupt cops were the villains; but the perspective changed in the 70's thanks to movies like Shaft and Electra Glide in Blue, which showed that the ethic and the rectitude could become into obstacles in order to combat every time more violent and crafty criminals.We can suppose that those anti-heroes arose as a consequence of the dissatisfaction people felt with the authorities, and with the sad reality that the pure and incorruptible heroes of yesteryear were not credible anymore.Needless to say that real life has gotten worse in our century, and the cinema has adapted to that with films (and TV series) where the line between heroes and villains is every time more diffuse.
All the previous paragraph takes me to Brooklyn's Finest, a cop flick in which director Antoine Fuqua runs a similar field to the one he visited in Training Day 9 years ago.The result is competent and interesting, but not highly memorable.
Brooklyn's Finest has a provocative premise, and thanks to screenwriter Michael C. Martin, we have many interesting scenes of moral disjunctive, fights with the conscience and impossible decisions.But the problem is that that structure feels a bit diffuse, and I could not find the point in common which impulses the three stories this movie tells (besides of the ethical conflicts the three main characters face).In other words, I was interested in the characters and their dilemmas, but the secondary scenes which may add texture and "realism" to the story tired me a little bit, because they divide our attention without a justifiable cause and they unnecessarily stretch the movie.
In spite of that, I liked the film, mainly because of Fuqua's solid direction, which is always disciplined and absolutely free of any tricks which are not necessary in order to create suspense.As for the cast, Ethan Hawke feels a bit over the top in his character, while on the other hand, Don Cheadle is perfect as a cop whose divided loyalty is not because of simple ambition, but because of the lessons life has brought him in both sides of the law.Richard Gere could interpret even asleep the character of a veteran who is tired of fighting an endless war, but I think he keeps doing it well.As for the supporting cast, I liked the performances from Will Patton as the classical "suit" who only wants results; Ellen Barkin as a cop/politician who is more interested in her career than in the fulfillment of justice; and Wesley Snipes, who makes his return to mainstream cinema after various years of starring in atrocious action movies made straight to DVD.
As a comparison point, I liked Brooklyn's Finest more than Pride and Glory, but less than Narc and Dark Blue, because they had had more concise and compact screenplays.However, despite the fails from the screenplay and the fact it is not highly memorable, I can recommend Brooklyn's Finest as an interesting cop flick with good performances and interesting ideas.
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