Brooklyn’s Finest, Three Movies You’ve Seen Wrapped Into One


Filled with every cop-movie convention since the invention of gunpowder and curse words, Brooklyn’s Finest is three movies in one, all of which you’ve seen before: the sad tale of the sullen burnout (Richard Gere as Eddie) a week away from retirement who finds accidental redemption; the tortured tale of the undercover brother named Tango (Don Cheadle) asked to do One Last Big, Bad Thing before he’s kicked upstairs and out of the down-low life; and the tragic tale of the good-ish cop gone bad (Ethan Hawke as Sal), saddled with a mess o’ kids and seeing nothing wrong with pilfering drug dough to finance a new life for his pregnant-again wife. Seen it. Seen it. And seen it. Disappointing, since Brooklyn’s Finest is from Antoine Fuqua, who directed Denzel right into an Oscar for Training Day. The script is by a first-timer named Michael C. Martin, who wrote a movie that sounds like every other movie. Which would be forgivable if Fuqua had tweaked it enough to at least acknowledge its antecedents—to at least wink—or had turned this sleepy sucker up to 11. Also: Hawke, who spends a lot of time glowering and sulking, usually while smoking, is, easily, the least Sal-looking character in the history of the movies.