Remincent of hit HBO series, The Wire, Brooklyn's finest is a slow burning film that follows the stories of 3 Brooklyn cops' as they struggle with the pressure of the job. Right from the opening scene the film sets the tension and has you wondering what the outcome will be for these 3 officers when it seems that being blue isn't black and white, but shades of grey.
An all star cast puts in a fine performance portraying wildly different characters, each with their own set of problems and outlook on the job and what being a cop means. The simple, menacing strings of the sound track add to the tension as the film slowly evolves and the characters and their stories, or should I say lives, unravel.
Richard Gere plays a burnt out cop, Ethan Hawke the officer turned bad in order to do good, and Don Cheadle completes the ensemble as the undercover cop stuggling with the conflict of what side he's actually on; after years on the street his homies have his back but the department seems to shaft him at every turn.
The characters might sound a little chliched written down like this, but on screen they come across as anything but. They all seem incredibly real, and the film does a great job of portraying how easy it for good men to sometimes make bad decisions but for the right reasons.
For those who are interested, the Blu Ray transfer is excellent and I really found the sound to be of excellent quality too - it was noticably better than most films I've watched, with gun shots making me jump and the bass rumbling my tummy and making my windows rattle. This really helped bring scenes alive - especially when you were 'in the hood' with the gangsters cooking up drugs in crack dens to a hip hop soundtrack.
The extras include the usual trailer and deleted scenes, as well as three 'making of' documentaries, entitled, Conflict & Chaos: The life of a New York City Cop; From the MTA to the WGA; Boyz N the Real Hood. But don't buy this film for the extras - buy it for the main feature.
As the film unfolds you'll find yourself on the edge of your seat and by the time the final set piece plays out, you'll be watching with a knot in your stomach. The locations are all great as are the supporting cast which includes Wesley Snipes, and this is another film that portrays the reality of life on the streets as a young black drug dealer with unflinching realism.
Anyone who likes intelligent film making will love this. Especially if hip hop or street culture are your thing. And even if your not 'down with life on the streets' and don't know your Jay-Zs from your P Diddys, Brooklyn's Finest is the perfect antidote to the usual drivel Hollywood churns out, and that we all usually complain about.
I write this review surprised by the negative response it has recieved on here - I fully expected there to be hundreds of 5 star reviews, but that doesn't seem to be the case. I'm not sure why that is, as for me, Brooklyn's Finest was a fine piece of work. For once, it was nice to watch a film based on the essential building blocks of every great movie: good writing and a great story. Highly recommended. A+