DARKMATTERS - The Mind of Matt

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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Darkmatters Review: Brooklyn's Finest

Brooklyn's Finest (18)

Dir. Antoine Fuqua

Reviewed by Matt Adcock

Today we’re riding with Brooklyn's Finest, these are the cops who police the New York’s meanest streets, who put themselves in harm’s way and who deal with the scumbags that threaten to overrun the city.

First up is Sal (Ethan Hawke) a narcotics detective who is swimming in debt and trying to find a way to finance a new house for his sick wife and ever growing family. Next up is Eddie (Richard Gere), he’s a browbeaten cop with over 20 years service who is marking time in his final week before retirement. Finally we have Tango (Don Cheadle), who is deep undercover in a drug dealing operation, so deep undercover that he might be losing sight of who the good guys are.

The triple storylines add different dimensions to the dilemmas faced by different sections of Brooklyn’s Law Enforcement. Many of the plot devices are clichéd and have been seen before (the temptation of dirty money, the feeling of helplessness in the face of rampant crime levels etc) but Brooklyn’s Finest is boosted by fantastic performances from the three leads.

Director Antoine ‘Training Day’ Fuqua has a talent for getting the best from his cast and here he even delivers a cracking comeback turn from Wesley Snipes as Caz – a drug dealer who has turned his life around whilst in prison. Gere hasn’t been this good for a long time and his relationship with ‘heart of gold’ hooker Chantel (Shannon Kane) is very moving.

Themes such as redemption and retribution loom large and overshadow all three plotlines. These ‘finest’ cops don’t necessarily live up to the title, as each is struggling to make sense of the brutal and shifting environment they operate in. There are some great ‘what would you do’ moments that will have you thinking long after the credits roll.

Brooklyn’s Finest actually feels like a kind of sequel to the Oscar winning Training Day – there is serious bloodshed, tragedy and much macho brooding. It all looks good, shot through with grimy tints and high contrast lighting – imagine The Wire with a bigger budget…

They say that every man has a moment of truth but this is war… This is Brooklyn. So if you’re in the mood for some crunching cop action that will hook you in all the way to a heartbreaking finale, Brooklyn’s Finest is the film you’re looking for this week.


Denzel Washington's character from Training Day comes back from the dead at the climax of the film and the three cops here have to battle the undead bad cop to the death!!

Darkmatters rating: ööööööö (7 dirty cops out of 10)

Darkmatters quick reference guide: Action 7 / Style 8 / Babes 7 / Comedy 6 / Horror 5 / Spiritual Enlightenment 4

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