I really wanted to love this movie, not just like it; but at the end of the day, I kind of just tolerated it. It wasn’t bad. If Brooklyn’s Finest is a BIG and Jay track, then the movie is more like the ODB (RIP, Dirt McGirt) of movies. It ain’t Brooklyn’s Finest, but it’s definitely aight at times. Shall I explain… ‘member that time ODB was on TV and picked up those food stamps? Well, that’s Brooklyn’s Finest – the movie. In fact, it would’ve been more appropriate to name it Brooklynnnnn Zuh!
Directed by Antoine Fuqua (Training Day, King Arthur – both vastly superior films to this one and both worth owning a legit copy of, like I do) and written by newbie Michael C. Martin (WHERE BROOKLYN AT? – That’s not a movie; it’s what we say when we’re shouting out people from the Planet of Brooklyn like Mike Martin, but you should already know this. “Where Brooklyn At?” That SHOULD be a movie… hmmm… I’m keeping that one. Copyright by ImThatDude). At least I didn’t hate it like the black bourgeois chicks that I overheard as they left the theater cussing you and the Mike out about how Black folks are portrayed in these films – they went so far as to say this is your modus operandi (ie, Training Day). In fact, I gave you an extra star because it can’t be that bad if those man-hating Precious-deifying heifers hated the flick.
Brooklyn’s Finest stars Don Cheadle (Devil in a Blue Dress, Hotel Rwanda), Richard Gere (Officer and a Gentleman, Pretty Woman, and something about a gerbil), Ethan Hawke (Training Day, Daybreakers), Wesley “Sit ya $5 ass Down ‘fore I Make Change” Snipes (Mo Better Blues, Passenger 57), Vincent D’Onofrio (The Cell, Men in Black), Ellen Barkin (This Boy’s Life, Oceans Thirteen), AND… SHANNON KANE (Blood and Bone, formerly of All My Children). Shannon. Oh, Shannon. You’re too good for roles like this. In case you forget, Shannon, I’m willing to bet you have a couple more in your future and I will be sure to remind you then, too.
IF YOU MUST KNOW:
This is a story about a few cops and a few criminals and the thin blurry line betwixt the two in Brooklyn.
Caz (Snipes) is fresh out the bing (translation – jail) and Tango (Cheadle), running partner from the “bing” has been holding down the fort for his drug empire (I use the term empire in the way cats around my way in Bed-Stuy do, $50K per day for the entire criminal enterprise does not an empire make, but… whatever). (NOT A SPOILER) Tango’s really an undercover cop trying to get the eff out from his undercover job that is causing significant strain on his psyche and in his relationships (on both sides of his identity) but the pigs want just a little more for him. They want to bring down Caz. Uh oh! They want their undercover cop to bring down the criminal who is the head of the gang that said cop has infiltrated. I don’t know about you, but I’m as shocked about this as Tango!
Sal (Hawke) is the classic Catholic NY cop character with financial problems struggling to make ends meet because he doesn’t believe in condoms or vasectomies. I’m serious. This dude would give Lil Wayne or any professional basketball player a run for their money on the kid count (if it wasn’t for the fact that his kids all have the same mother). Sal’s desperate to move his family (9-ish, I think – I kind of lost count) into a bigger house where his kids can have their own rooms and a yard, etc. All I have to say to Sal is…
And, Eddie (Gere). Eddie. Officially, if I ever have a child, I will not name him anything that even remotely rhymes with Eddie – this cat was such a damned puddin’ it was sickening. Eddie’s the old cop a few days shy of retirement and forced to take on a rookie as a training exercise for the department. Of course, Eddie’s just trying to skate by with a major case of blue-senioritis, until he gets that pension he’s been waiting on for 22 long years of days. Long story short, Ed’s a bitch who seems to be entirely too separated from experiencing life with the minor exception of Chanel (Kane) – and you can’t count that, because if you have to pay for it… I mean… really… I guess it’s http://www.snopes.com/risque/homosex/gerbil.asp>better than a gerbil though, eh, Richard? Not that there’s anything wrong with falling for somebody that looks like this:
But damn, dude. She was a ho. No. An actual whore - pronounced “who-uh.” Did I mention that she’s too good for this kind of role? Because she is.
Overall, I really liked the voices of the characters and the flow of the dialogue. Leave it to a Brooklyn cat to be good at writing the voices of Brooklyn cats (which is way harder than it may seem), but the story was lacking. Right down to the ultra-violent climactic interweaving of each of these three officer’s lives. It was a bit contrived, which takes away from the story. Sure, it didn’t help that I was in the theater with a couple of crying babies and for some odd reason their parents didn’t believe in the use of pacifiers – which shouldn’t have surprised me considering they dragged their bum ass kids to a violent rated sexually explicit movie with lots of adult language. That’s wrong. They didn’t drag their bum ass kids out to the movie… they pushed them in a stroller. I’m nothing, if I’m not honest. It also didn’t help that I had three dummies sitting behind me guessing wrong about every minor detail in the movie; but the simplicity and lack of originality in the characters wasn’t lessened by the audience.
Like I said. I liked the verisimilitude of the character’s speech, despite how unreal everything else about these characters turned out to be. That and the fact the Black Crusaders (Tracy Jordan, 30 Rock reference) were calling for a boycott demands that I give this movie a little more credit than I ordinarily would. Sometimes, movies just don’t work out right no matter what ingredients you have or how well closely you try to follow the recipe. Cheadle was Cheadle – excellent and understated. Wesley (if we overlook his craptastic corn rows) was the old Wesley – the one we like, not the tax dodging black woman dissing straight to DVD movie making guy we’ve known this last decade plus. Gere was properly cast. Ethan Hawke – EH! (well, let’s just say I find the fact that those are his initials ironic given his performance, but that’s uncharacteristic of him – so he gets a pass). Ellen Barkin was stellar for the five minutes she was onscreen.
Decent flick. Better on DVD than the big screen, but good enough for the big screen.
That Dude gives Brooklyn’s Finest: 3
1. They make crap this pure?
2. Couldn’t be more under-whelmed.
3. Not too shabby, I won’t ask for my money back.
4. Pretty, pretty, pretty, pretty good./Worth the 12 bucks.
5. Why are you reading this and not seeing this movie? Jackass.