I’m a mega-sucker for cop films. Love to watch guys in ties standing over a homicide victim. Whether it’s great stuff like Heat, good but over-rated stuff like The Departed or despised stuff like Pride & Glory, I’m there and can pretty much watch it with pleasure end to end. I’m sorry TV has sort of taken over the genre. For my money, there just aren’t enough good cop films around.
So here’s Brooklyn’s Finest, directed by Antoine Fuqua, the guy who did Training Day. And yeah, I dug it. It had Don Cheadle in it, who’s great. Ethan Hawke, who can be great and is great here. Most of the cast of The Wire, who are also great. And Wesley Snipes, who usually hides his light under a bushel but whose chops are tops when he pulls out the stops. Plus it has a cool structure where three unrelated stories wind their way inevitably toward each other for a bang-bang conclusion.
Fuqua’s biggest problem is that he doesn’t know how to end a film. He wants to put in everything, every thought, shot, death… everything. It was true of Training Day and it’s true here. I don’t want to spoil the ending, but for me, it went too far in a number of ways. A lot less would’ve been a lot more.
But that said, this is very watchable, enjoyable stuff with a very high level of acting in it throughout. At my house, if I’m done working and my wife is busy doing something else and there’s a glass of malt to be had, this is exactly the sort of thing that goes into the player.