(Kadeem's) Review: Brooklyn's Finest

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The writer and director presents the characters in a way the viewer can understand why they ended up doing what they did.
The characters aren't one-sided.

[Film Review]

In what can be described as Training Day meets HBO's "The Wire" with a hint of New Jack City, Brooklyn's Finest which stars Don Cheadle, Wesley Snipes, Ethan Hawke, Richard Gere, Michael K. Williams -- who's most famous for his portrayal of Omar in the HBO series "The Wire"-- and Jas Anderson, follows the lives of three different police officers working out of Brooklyn's 65th precinct.

Their work continually leads them to The Louis K. Pink Houses in Brooklyn. The film which was written by Brooklyn's own Michael C. Martin and directed by Antoine Fuqua who also directed Training Day, is a film which blends the elements of corruption, loyalty, violence and pride to piece the stories together and give the characters life.

The film is presented as three different stories, each concerning a different officer's life. You have Officer Sal, played by Ethan
Hawke, who is struggling to provide a better life for his ever expanding family, but is being held back by his economic situation, and decides to risk his integrity, and use any means necessary to provide a better life for his family.

Then there is Officer Eddie, played by Richard Gere, who is about to retire after serving over 20 years on the force, but feels that he never did anything in his career that was significant, which leads him to become depressed and develop a non-caring attitude.

Lastly we have Officer Clarence "Tango" Butler, who after going undercover in New York City's prison system forms a strong friendship with convicted drug dealer Cassanova "Caz" Phillips. What first stood out to me about the film was the manner in
which each of the lead characters get introduced. Instead of being shown the character's strengths we see the flaws, throughout the film.

We have Sal, whose focus is on his family, but he becomes driven by desperation, slowly sinking in to pure greed. On the other hand we have Eddie who doesn't feel that his career or life has had much purpose. Then we have Tango facing a conflict between friendship and career.

Caz is played by Snipes--What surprised me about Snipe's character was that he didn't portray the tough, manipulative, and strong type of drug dealer that he has portrayed in previous films.

Michael K. Williams and Jas Anderson stood out as two of the main villains Red and K. Rock. Filming the scenes in the Van Dyck housing projects helps give the story a sense of realism and authenticity, from the shots of the buildings themselves to the background extras and scenes. When asked what was the best thing about filming in Brooklyn, Fuqua simply said, "The people, who can't fake that".

The writer and director presents the characters in a way the viewer can understand why they ended up doing what they did.
The characters aren't one-dimensional.

(4 Stars)

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