Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Brooklyn’s Finest

Morally bankrupt cops in Richard Gere and Ethan Hawke? Really?

Posted By on Wed, Mar 10, 2010 at 12:00 AM

Rumor has it that it's hard out there on the streets, and you'd need a fire hose to blast all the dirt off the blacktop of this intense, downbeat and-too-familiar thriller. It's the latest from director Antoine Fuqua, who specializes in building corrupt urban hellscapes filled with compromised crooks and cops with souls as gray as Scotland winters. This time he's split the focus across a whole precinct full of three-time losers, burned-out vets and jittery rookies who occasionally bump into each other on their respective paths to damnation.

Don Cheadle plays a deep undercover detective who has been running the razor's edge so long he fears his head is messed up by the game. His loyalties get pushed even harder with the early release of his old prison homey, a drug kingpin played with renewed vigor by Wesley Snipes. There are some terrific scenes between these two actors, but every time they spark, the film quick-cuts to another storyline.

One of those involves Richard Gere as a worn-down, boozy and hooker-lovin' cop who's days from retirement. He's given the job of breaking in the latest fresh meat. Back before he became the punch line to a joke about the Dali Lama, Gere was known for his intensity; we get some of that here, but his matinee face looks just a tad too moisturized for a guy on his last legs.

Meanwhile, to flip his Training Day rookie role, Ethan Hawke has the haunted, sallow-cheeked look of desperation as a narc who skims cash from raids to fund a bigger house for his ever-expanding Catholic brood. Oddly enough, Ellen Barkin has the biggest dick here; she's a ball-breaking fed ready to steamroll anyone who even dreams of getting in her way.

Fuqua pours grim on grime, with about every shot layered in depression or depravity. The thick tension weighs the movie down; we know there's tragedy brewing and bullets coming, and we're reminded of it constantly.

Corey Hall writes about film for Metro Times. Send comments to [email protected].


We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at [email protected].

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Detroit Metro Times Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Metro Times Press Club for as little as $5 a month.

Read the Digital Print Issue

January 19, 2022

View more issues


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Best Things to Do In Detroit

© 2022 Detroit Metro Times - Contact Us

Website powered by Foundation