The last time director Antoine Fuqua hit the streets and filmed in the actual ghetto, filled with real criminals and dangerous surroundings was 2001's Training Day. ¬†This movie, which had Ethan Hawke and Denzel Washington, was about a new cop starting out and paired up with a veteran that shows him what being out on the streets for too many years can do to you. ¬†It's one of my Top 30 favorite movies and won Denzel an Oscar. ¬†The movie was filmed in the worst parts of L.A. and when I heard that Brooklyn's Finest was about cops and filmed in Brownsville, Brooklyn, one of the most dangerous places on the planet; I got excited for another potential opus. ¬†I got even more excited at its potential when I saw Ethan Hawke returned for this AND Richard Gere, Don Cheadle (Oceans 11 -13), Will Patton (Remember the Titans) and even Wesley Snipes joined him. ¬†Sadly, I was very disappointed when I left the theater though. ¬†Brooklyn's Finest has three main stories about three different cops, who are on the brink of self destruction, working in the worst part of Brooklyn. ¬†These three stories are dark and I mean damn, dark. ¬†I don't think the casual Richard Gere fan should see this movie especially if you really loved him in Pretty Woman or Chicago. ¬†All I have to say is that I had nightmares from watching him in a graphic sex scene. ¬†These stories are each told with passion and total commitment from the players involved. ¬†It's too bad that all three stories are ones you've seen a million times in any cop drama. ¬†But when you have these three stories being juggled in the air and Fuqua doing the juggling, it's not a total loss. ¬†The uncertainty of the finale was enough to keep me interested. ¬†Some scenes might've almost been too suspenseful and intense for me if it hadn't been for the row and a half of people behind me that stopped gorging on snack foods like pigs just briefly enough to yell at the screen. ¬†I think the movie started to go south once I realized that these three stories had nothing to do with each other and operated independently from one another. ¬†I was hoping that they were all going to collide and all these gifted actors were allowed to share a scene in a big climactic finale; but that doesn't come. ¬†The only time we have the stories intersect is in a few gimmicky exchanges of dialogue or background action. ¬†It frustrates me to have three separate stories like this that have nothing to do with each other in one movie, when I could be watching a film that focuses on one of them and does it well. ¬†What's the point of giving me the Cliff's Notes version of three stories if they don't have anything to do with each other? ¬†Fuqua tries so hard to recreate the magic he had on Training Day and failed. ¬†But I give him credit for two things. ¬†One is shooting in Brownsville, Brooklyn. ¬†I've been lost there once and it was absolutely terrifying. ¬†To shoot a movie in Brownsville would involve gaining the trust of the people who live there and I'm sure that's not easy. ¬†The other is giving Wesley Snipes a chance to star in a movie that's not straight-to-DVD again. ¬†I have to admit that I'm a huge fan of the Blade series, but seeing Snipes in this again reminds me that even when he's not a vampire or kicking someone in the head, he's still a pretty good actor. ¬†He plays the same role as he did in New Jack City, but it's a damn good one. ¬†It's just too bad Snipes had to have his comeback be on this though.
Brooklyn's Finest (Rated R)
Gavin Grade: C-Click here for a chance to win tickets to an advanced screening of Green Zone starring Matt Damon