Brooklyn’s Finest – The Film That Wouldn’t End

Brooklyn's FinestYou read the title correctly.  Brooklyn’s Finest has a total runtime around 2 hours and 15 minutes, give or take.  It felt more like ‘give,’ because from its 12:15 start time to when I got out, it made me feel as if I’d been in the theater all day.  There is one thing I’ve learned doing these reviews and looking at movies from a more in-depth perspective; anything goes.  You can have big names and great acting, but if the story can’t carry the entertainment factor to the audience, it’s dead in the water. 

Such is the case with cop flick Brooklyn’s Finest, a story that focuses on three different NYPD police officers and their trials, tribulations, and vices.  Ethan Hawke plays a cop with a growing family in search of a larger house on a policeman’s pay.  He pockets the drug money found on raids, but can never get enough.  Don Cheadle is an undercover cop whose time in disguise is understandably taking a toll on his well being.  He’s getting sucked out of the cop world and into the underworld.  Lastly, Richard Gere is the veteran only days away from retirement who carries an empty gun and cannot seem to get along with his newly assigned partners.  Wesley Snipes also makes an appearance opposite Cheadle as one of the projects’ local hood bosses. 

The acting is good, but the story just drags and drags and drags.  If I continued to type the end of that last sentence even more repeatedly, you would get a sense for just how monotonous Brooklyn’s Finest is.  The only film where I had more detachment from the main characters was last year’s Public Enemies, though Brooklyn’s Finest runs a close second.  My interest or care of the characters fluctuated throughout the movie, mostly hovering around the realm of ‘so what.’  It isn’t until things get a little driven near the end that my interest was perked.  Nevertheless, it was too little too late to give a darn.

I am very well aware that a police officer’s life is far from glamorous, but this movie was downright depressing.  It showed the seedier side of things as three officers operated outside the lines of the law.  Corruption infests nearly every occupation and on occasion, unfortunately, even some police are not immune to this.  Still, I found the frequency with which this occurred and the Rambo-like escapades at the film’s closure to be a little hard to swallow.  It’s just a movie, I know.  But in this case, it is supposed to offer some realism.  Instead, it made me look at the profession for a moment and ask, “Why would anyone want to do that??”  Then I awoke from my cinema-induced coma realizing this movie was not the best depiction of cop life.  Please do yourself a favor and pass on this movie that somehow got listed as ‘entertainment.’ Snails sprint faster than the pace of its story.    


Brooklyn's Finest




4 Responses to “Brooklyn’s Finest – The Film That Wouldn’t End”

  1. Gerard


    I heard that it was pretty good, and uber violent! I’m still gonna blind buy it when it hits Bu-ray.

  2. Brian White

    Once my wife found out that this takes place in the 70’s she wanted nothing to do with this film.

  3. Bob Ignizio

    The trailer for this looked like at least a half dozen other cop movies from recent years, especially ‘Pride and Glory’, which was a pretty awful film in its own right. You want a good, realistic police drama check out the HBO series ‘The Wire’. Now that’s how you do a police drama. 5 seasons and about 50+ hours, and yet you could probably cruise through the whole thing in a few weeks because it’s so good you just want to keep watching.

  4. Brian White

    When time permits I just might have to check that ‘Wire’ show out! Thanks Bob for giving me 50 hours of something to do! 🙂