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TIT

'Brooklyn's Finest'
(Richard Gere, Don Cheadle, Ethan Hawke, Wesley Snipes, et al / DVD / R / 2010 / Anchor Bay Entertainment)

Overview: Something of a genre homecoming, Antoine Fuqua's latest film once again finds him delving into the gritty, brutal realm of cops and crooks—as he did in Training Day. Tango is an undercover officer on a narcotics detail that forces him to choose between duty and friendship. Having been to hell and back, he wants out, but the powers that be won't let him quit.

DVD Verdict: 'Brooklyn's Finest' is about three cops working in different units in the NYC police department, who struggle with the perils of the crime-infested streets, particularly the drug trafficking operations.

Ethan Hawke delivers probably his best performance to date. He plays Sal Procida, a NYPD narcotics officer who's a devout Catholic with mostly good intentions, but is plagued with his own demons as he chases after ruthless drug dealers while struggling to support more kids at home than he can afford on a cop's salary.

Don Cheadle plays the role of "Tango", an ambitious undercover cop working double-duty on a drug sting operation. He's burned out and wants out of the game before it's too late, but he's in too deep and the powers that be on the corrupt police force won't let him escape. Ellen Barkin plays the hard-ass boss lady in charge of the sting operation. She has Cheadle by the balls and couldn't care less about his survival.

Richard Gere plays Officer Dugan, a washed-out, suicidal veteran cop who is just a week away from retirement. His goal (aside from enjoying the services of a certain "professional" whom he likes more than he should) is to maintain his sanity, keep his nose clean and keep his rookie cop partner under control for just a few more days so that he can cash in on his pension with a little pride. But as it turns out, his last week on the job is probably the worst of his entire career.

Wesley Snipes returns to the big screen as the smart, ruthless drug lord "Caz" running the streets of Brooklyn. He's been in the game for too long as well and appears to be losing his "street cred", as he doesn't know who to trust anymore. His most trusted partner however, happens to be Tango who, unbeknownst to Caz, is working undercover to bust his operation.

Brooklyn's Finest tells a graphic story about each of these characters and the double lives and personal struggles that each one has to deal with on a daily basis. All three are "fine" cops in their own way, but the demands of their dangerous jobs, in a corrupt world, gets the best of them. Neither cop knows the other one, but their fate is ultimately intertwined.

This movie starts out quite slow but it eventually progresses into a very good film. This is a serious cop drama that is very raw in its portrayal of crime and corruption on the mean urban streets. It contains certain elements of other movies, such as "Training Day", "New Jack City", "American Gangster" and "Crash" all meshed together into one powerful movie.

The casting and acting are superb, but the story leaves nothing to the imagination and exploits stereotypes to the max. Highly recommended, nonetheless. [DF] This is a Widescreen Presentation (2.35:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of an audio commentary with director Antoine Fuqua; Chaos & Conflict: The Life of a New York Cop; Boyz N the Real Hood; An Eye for Detail: Director Featurette; From the MTA to the WGA: Writer Featurette; deleted scenes; and the theatrical trailer.

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