I had hopes that Brooklyn's Finest would be found footage of an early 90s rap battle between Nas, Notorious BIG and Jay-Z. Three of the best rappers ever, showing off their rhyme skills. Instead, we get this rehash of downtrodden cop cliches. As Biggie once said, "Your style is played out, like Arnold and that what you talkin' 'bout Willis."
The film revovles around three NYPD cops, each more worse off than the last. Ethan Hawke's Sal is a man whose financial situation is pushing him towards possible corruption, Don Cheadle's undercover cop Tango can't help but feel trapped in the world he has snuck into, and Richard Gere's Eddie, a burnt-out vet with only one week left. These characters are at their lowest points, and unfortunately, never really come up for air. All signs point to a depressing end for everyone, and the film doesn't disappoint. If you're looking for a movie to make your dreary life look good, this is the movie for you.
Antoine Fuqua plumbed the seedier world of cops in the much better Training Day. Here, he blows everything up to operatic proportions. There is too much drama, so much so that you can't help but feel like you've been beat up by the end of it. In a way, the movie, with its intertwined stories of desperation, emulates Crash, which, five years later, is looked upon as one of the worst Best Picture winners ever. It won't take that long to realize Brooklyn's Finest isn't that good. I've already figured that out.