Starring: Richard Gere, Don Cheadle,
Ethan Hawke, Wesley Snipes,
Vincent D’Onofrio, and Brian
Audience: Older teenagers and adults
Runtime: 140 minutes
Distributor: Overture Films/Starz LLC
Director: Antoine Fuqua
Executive Producer: Boaz Davidson, Antoine Fuqua,
Robert Greenhut, Jesse
Kennedy, and Mary Viola
Producer: Elie Cohn, Basil Iwanyk, John
Langley, Avi Lemer, and John
Writer: Michael C. Martin
Address Comments To:Robert Clasen, Chairman/CEO
Starz LLC (Overture Films)
8900 Liberty Circle
Englewood, CO 80112
Phone: (720) 852-7700; Fax: (720) 852-8555
Richard Gere plays Eddie, a uniformed policeman seven days away from early retirement from a career marked by mediocrity and an unwillingness to really help others. Tango (played by Don Cheadle) is in deep undercover as a drug lord who is pushed into betraying a criminal with whom he has struck up a friendship. Detective Sal (played by Ethan Hawke) is a family man who must get money to help his wife and family and resorts to murder and stealing money from raids in order to do so.
These three stories ultimately lead to one night when each of their lives takes a turning point. Though the stories never cross, they are all united as Brooklyn policemen. Eddie gets a very unceremonious retirement after a week of trying to break in rookie cops. He asks his prostitute girlfriend to go with him, and she refuses. Eddie has been suicidal before. He is about to commit suicide when he sees a girl being taken into a building. Uncharacteristically, he follows her and rescues her.
Tango quits the force in order not to betray his friend, but a rival gang member murders his friend anyway. Tango then hunts down the rival gang leader and shoots him repeatedly in revenge.
Sal has a growing family and needs a bigger house, plus his current house has mold and his wife’s asthma is jeopardizing her pregnancy. With his back up against the wall, Sal becomes a criminal himself, first being a hit man and then stealing money from drug raids.
The movie ends with each story coming to its logical conclusion, mostly with fatal results.
BROOKLYN’S FINEST is a well made crime drama that contains outstanding performances by Gere, Cheadle and Hawke. The pace is brisk and the filmmakers have done a fine job in all production aspects.
Eddie’s story is the strongest from a moral perspective. After 22 years of not putting himself out for anyone, he risks his life and frees young women from human trafficking.
Sal’s story is the saddest. He goes to confession to try to get God’s help, and the priest wants to talk about God’s forgiveness and our propensity to sin. Sal replies that he doesn’t want God’s forgiveness, he wants God’s help – and says it with expletives. Sal becomes no better than the criminals, but his motivation starts with trying to help his wife and kids.
Tango’s story has no moral center. He even says that he has been undercover so long he has begun to think and act like a criminal. Seeking revenge for his friend’s murder is wrong, and Tango pays the price for it.
There is also a strong Catholic theme to the movie in the form of images. Sal’s house, car, tattoos, and desk contain crosses and images of Jesus and Mary. Eddie has a cross over his bed. Tango’s gang members all wear cross tattoos and jewelry crosses. Eddie’s prostitute girlfriend also has images of Jesus and Mary on her walls.
The theme of the movie, if there is a clear one, is that the police are no better than the criminals. Sal’s police buddies gamble, smoke pot, get drunk on beer, and get into fist fights.
The movie contains an extraordinary amount of foul language, most of it the “f” word. There is plenty of upper female nudity that takes up many scenes. And, there are three very graphic scenes of sex. The scenes of violence are graphic and bloody.
The movie’s troubling worldview and negative content are excessive.
BROOKLYN’S FINEST is a well made with outstanding performances. The pace is brisk, and the filmmakers have done of a fine job in all production aspects. Despite some Christian references, the theme of BROOKLYN’S FINEST, if there is a clear one, is that the police are no better than the criminals. Sal’s police buddies gamble, smoke put, get drunk on beer, and get into fist fights. The movie contains an extraordinary amount of foul language, most of it the “f” word. There is plenty of upper female nudity that takes up many scenes. And, there are three very graphic sex scenes. The movie’s depressing worldview and negative content are excessive.