CONTAINS SOME SPOILERS AND BUCKETLOADS OF SWEARING. AGAIN. LOOK, IT'S NOT BIG AND IT'S NOT CLEVER, ALRIGHT?
A generally nicely made police drama, well shot and well put together, in which Actors rather than Movie Stars appear in juicy roles, this is certainly a quality piece of product and can't really be faulted on a technical filmmaking level. But it's difficult to know who to root for in the Worst Precinct In The City: an area ruled by drug gangs and where the cops find it easier to either go dirty or play blind, and interestingly the one cop who gets a decent result is the twenty-year veteran who's been surviving the daily horrors by looking the other way and not getting involved.
Brooklyn's Finest is an ironic title: they really aren't the finest. Richard Gere is the weak veteran, just seven days away from retirement, Don Cheadle is the long-term undercover man who wants out from Wesley Snipes' drugs empire, and Ethan Hawke desperately needs more money for his ever-growing family, so could really use some of that heroin cash they keep finding at crime scenes. Meanwhile racial tensions are boiling over following the murder of a young black kid by a crooked police officer, and fresh-faced rookie patrolmen are brought in but are hopelessly and completely unprepared for the war zone.
It's a heavyweight beast at 130 minutes or so, and it's a Man's film, with little in the way of female participation. With a pleasing 70s feel to it, and minimal use of that frenzied overediting that can render simple dialogue sequences incomprehensible, it's fine. But it loses out by having absolutely everyone spattering F and MF words around like machine gun fire. Ostensibly the BBFC have given the film an 18 for "constant strong bloody violence, sex and nudity", which is perfectly true; but they note that the film "also contains frequent strong language" which to my mind was more pervasive than the violence. Sometimes it just gets tiresome watching three or four angry men yelling swearwords at each other. In addition, a lot of the blblblblbl mnmnmnm dialogue is mumbled AND in gangsta and cop jargon, so it's actually worth treating it as a foreign film and switching the DVD subtitles on. Not to say I didn't enjoy it - I did - but I think it IS flawed.