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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
Very well made with that gritty feel to it that Antoine Fuqua is renowned for. A decent score by Marcelo Zarvos, interspersed with rap and other 'street' tunes sets the tone. All the performances were excellent; in particular Richard Gere as the world-weary Eddie, Don Cheadle as the street-wise Tango and Ethan Hawke as the up-tight Sal. Wesley Snipes did a great job too as Cal, as did Brían F. O'Byrne as Sal's partner, Ronnie Rosario. Also worthy of note were; Will Patton as Lt. Bill Hobarts, Michael Kenneth Williams as Red, Shannon Kane as Chantel and Ellen Barkin as Agent Smith. Oh, and look out for a nice little cameo from Vincent D'Onofrio as Carlo.
I must say that the critics must have had a bad day or something when they reviewed this one. I'm usually pretty much in agreement with them, but I think they missed a trick here. Yes, the three threads don't tie together in a neat bow but they're not supposed to; that's life, it doesn't always go the way you want it to (seldom does actually). The performances are great and there are some really superb visual moments too. I liked the plot, yes, maybe a little haphazard here and there, but not as bad as some would have you believe. For me, well worth a look RECOMMENDED.
My Score 7.1/10
IMDb Score: 6.7/10 (based on 32,232 votes at the time of going to press).
MetaScore: 43/100: (Based on 33 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com at the time of going to press).
Rotten Tomatoes 'Tomatometer' Score: 42/100 (based on 140 reviews counted at the time of going to press).
Rotten Tomatoes 'Audience' Score: 47/100 'Liked It' (based on 98,882 user ratings counted at the time of going to press).
You can find an expanded version of this review on my blog: Thoughts of a SteelMonster.
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