UK Release Date: 11th June 2010
Watched on Sky+ Sunday 15th July 2012.
PLEASE NOTE: THERE MAY BE SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW.
I can’t remember just how this one got on my ‘To See’ list, but I’m very glad it did. Not well received by the critics but, for me, a worthy watch! A film from the director of Training Day (2001), it has the same gritty quality with an interesting take on the very contrasting lives of three New York police officers. Here’s a very brief summary before I give you my thoughts.
We follow the lives of three very different New York Police officers. First there’s Eddie, a uniformed officer at the end of his career; he just wants to finish his time and retire. He’s is love with a prostitute, Chantel, and wants to take her away from that life. Next there’s Tango, an undercover officer who desperately wants out. He is in with gang leader Cal and things are hotting up as suspicions grow about who is the traitor in their midst. His handler, Lt. Bill Hobarts seems to be dragging his feet while FBI Agent Smith is only interested in the big score. Finally there’s Sal, a detective who works drug raids and has a sick wife who is expecting twins. He desperately wants to move house and needs a lot of money very quickly. Will Eddie find the piece of mind he needs to rest his demons? Will Tango get his promised promotion and out of undercover work? What lengths will Sal go to in order to get the money he so desperately needs? Their paths will cross, but who will survive?... Well, you guessed it, I’m not going to tell you here or the Spoiler Police (Brooklyn Division) will have me on traffic duty (again).
Very well made with that gritty feel to it that Antoine Fuqua is renowned for. A decent score by Marcelo Zarvos, interspersed with rap and other ‘street’ tunes sets the tone. All the performances were excellent; in particular Richard Gere as the world-weary Eddie, Don Cheadle as the street-wise Tango and Ethan Hawke as the up-tight Sal. Wesley Snipes did a great job too as Cal, as did Brían F. O'Byrne as Sal’s partner, Ronnie Rosario. Also worthy of note were; Will Patton as Lt. Bill Hobarts, Michael Kenneth Williams as Red, Shannon Kane as Chantel and Ellen Barkin as Agent Smith. Oh, and look out for a nice little cameo from Vincent D'Onofrio as Carlo.
I must say that the critics must have had a bad day or something when they reviewed this one. I’m usually pretty much in agreement with them, but I think they missed a trick here. Yes, the three threads don’t tie together in a neat bow but they’re not supposed to; that’s life, it doesn’t always go the way you want it to (seldom does actually). The performances are great and there are some really superb visual moments too. I liked the plot, yes, maybe a little haphazard here and there, but not as bad as some would have you believe. For me, well worth a look… RECOMMENDED.
My Score 7.1/10
IMDb Score: 6.7/10 (based on 32,232 votes at the time of going to press).
MetaScore: 43/100: (Based on 33 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com at the time of going to press).
Rotten Tomatoes ‘Audience’ Score: 47/100 ‘Liked It’ (based on 98,882 user ratings counted at the time of going to press).
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WARNING: STRONG LANGUAGE
Det. Sal Procida: What happened to the cops?
Carlo: Nothin. They were were right even though they were wrong. And I was wrong only *because* that I was right. Ya see? You get that now. You get that, right?
Det. Sal Procida, Carlo: Righta and wronga.
Gutta: Giuliani ain't clean up the city. Video games and television did. That's what cleaned up the streets. Come on, man, 'cause ya'll remember when everybody was outside. If you was two years old, if you was a hundred and two, you was outside.
Det. Sal Procida: Change that skirt. People are gonna start to think we're Catholic only on Sundays.
Tango: I'm a cop, B.
Det. Sal Procida: [in the confessional] I don't want God's forgiveness. I want his fuckin help!
(Note: All were working at the time of going to press)
Official Site: http://www.brooklynsfinestthemovie.com/