“Brooklyn’s Finest” has Richard Gere, Don Cheadle, and Ethan Hawke playing cops in NYC who are under tremendous pressure.  Gere is an old-timer, about to retire, does the minimum possible until he retires, and he’s suicidal.  Cheadle is an undercover cop rooted into the lives and business of drug dealers; he’s burnt out, wants to get out of his undercover work, and he’s being forced by his bosses to set-up a drug dealer friend who saved his life years ago.  Hawke is a dirty cop who will do whatever it takes to get more money so that he can better take care of his kids, his sick wife, and his unborn twins.

Whether you like or hate cops, “Brooklyn’s Finest” is a very good movie that gives us samples of what some cops’ lives are like.   There is virtually non-stop tension in this movie that still manages to continue up to the last shot of the third act.

One of my memorable, movie moments is the scene where Hawke is confessing to a priest about a recent sin he committed.  The priest tells Hawke to ask for God’s forgiveness.  Hawke replies, “I don’t want God’s forgiveness.  I want his fucking help!”  How many of us feel this way?  Plenty, I’m willing to bet.  I know I do.

Another memorable, movie moment of “Brooklyn’s Finest” is the last part of the third act, where the three policemen converge on the same housing project.  One is there to rip off drug dealers, one is there for revenge, and the third is there to rescue kidnapped women.  Years before this movie came out, I made an indie flick called “Six” where the last act was similar to the one in “Brooklyn’s Finest.”  So, it was a pleasure to get a glimpse of what the ending of “Six” would’ve looked like if I had a real budget.  I think people criticized the ending of “Brooklyn’s Finest,” calling it too contrived, or forced.  Hey, I thought it was good; but then again, I may be partial.

I strongly suggest you watch the deleted scenes.  Most should have been left in — they were that good.  Some deleted scenes offer juicy surprises as to what the director, Antoine Fuqua, had in mind for how some of the characters end up.

My most memorable, movie moment is the scene where Hawke’s partner in the NYPD tells him that Hawke doesn’t know how good he has it.  Hawke has a wife, kids, a house, etc.  I think some of us can connect with what is said to Hawke.  Sometimes we focus too much on the bad, and forget how good we really have it.  That is one of my many faults that I struggle to correct many times.  We want more — for ourselves and our loved ones.  We want to do more, help more.   And in some cases, all that wanting leads to desperate measures that can destroy us — or worse, destroy the ones we hope to help.  I’ve been through that on a much smaller scale than what Hawke’s character went through, which is why he’s the character I sympathize with the most.

M

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