Brooklyn’s Finest – ***

Posted: June 21, 2010 in Crime/Detective, Drama, USA, XXX
Tags: , , ,

Seen at UGC de Brouckère / Sunday, June 20

I went to the cinema to see El Secreto De Su Ojos, but changed my mind when I noticed a billboard from Brooklyn’s Finest. Yes, billboards do work sometimes. I had never heard of the movie, never seen the trailer, never read anything on imdb about it. I guess my cinema passion is dying out slowly. However,just having been to Brooklyn and the fact it was directed by Antoine Fugua (who made the classic Training Day) were apparently two good enough reasons to go see this flick. And a good decision it was.

In short: the movie focuses on three cops from the NYPD who each have their own issues. The least interesting one is Don Cheadle’s character who is an undercover cop in the BK projects torn between the desire to get promoted to a normal office job at the police department and choosing a life as a drug lord criminal. As much of a great character actor Don Cheadle is, there was not one moment I believed he would choose for the crime world. I did believe his frustration and his anger (there’s an excellent restroom scene where he needs some time for himself), but I didn’t believe his tough guy act. The two other characters are more intriguing, especially because the actor performances were surprisingly strong. Richard Gere’s bland expressions worked for a change as he plays a worn out cop waiting for his retirement, mocked at by younger aggressive cops and ready to just give it up by one pull of the trigger. I believed this character! Even when he gets a blow job from quite an attractive whore. No macho – I’m still that young stud from An Officer and A Gentlemen – behaviour, but just an older guy struggling with his libido. My favorite character though was performed by Ethan Hawke who starts to look like Matt Dillon the more I see him act. His catholic guilt driven cop needs fast money and does what he has to do to get it, which includes stealing drug money and killing as well. Killing out of necessity, because his wife may lose their unborn twins if they don’t move to a bigger, moist free house. Just for your information: he’s ‘catholic’ so he already has four or five children (wasn’t really clear).

I first gave the movie two and a half stars, because the directing, editing, soundtrack, storylines aren’t that original or extraordinary, but writing about and thinking back at the actor’s performances, it’s definitely worth three stars. The trailer may not look promising (I probably wouldn’t have gone to see the movie, if I had first seen the trailer), but it gets my thumbs up. And it was nice to see Wesley Snipes again and  Michael K Williams (Omar from The Wire) even though their parts were futile.

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