Brooklyn's Finest

2 out of 5 stars
Brooklyn's Finest

Time Out says

2 out of 5 stars

A far cry from the gritty ’70s policiers it conjures with cock-of-the-walk swagger (Serpico, Prince of the City), Antoine Fuqua’s second-rate retread of his own Training Day is a bloated, multithread drama concerning three burnt-out cops at the end of their seemingly unconnected ropes. Just a week away from receiving his pension, spiritually ruined man-in-blue Eddie (Gere) would rather let crime run rampant than do paperwork; he wakes up each morning to a glass of whiskey and a cocked gun in his mouth. Then there’s Officer “Tango” (Cheadle), whose undercover duty has been so overextended that his loyalties and moral compass have shifted to protect his gangland pal Caz (Snipes). Yes, we’ve seen that type of hot mess before. And gee, will underpaid narcotics cop Sal (Hawke) ditch his few remaining scruples to make the down payment on a new house for his baby mama, pregnant with twins?

Across the board, the capable cast of Brooklyn’s Finest works hard to sell a soulful intensity, which isn’t easy considering that each of the leads could proclaim they’re “getting too old for this shit” at any given moment. Unsubtly scripted by former NYC transit worker Michael C. Martin, the film plays like the inverse of Crash—a faux-intricate exercise in crosscutting fatalism that points fingers at its characters rather than the audience. Rock bottom is never as close as it appears and what goes around comes around (and all that noise), but for a character-driven piece digging up old tropes about the strains of humanity buried within corrupted people, the constant threat of violence seems to be its only dramatic momentum.—Aaron Hillis

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