Three relatively unconnected stories about cops in Brooklyn, each with their own demons or other problems. Cops in movies are rarely carefree, then again nobody is actually carefree in a movie, only sometimes when the end credits roll. An unwritten rule of movies with multiple story-lines is that the characters at least once appear in each other’s story, just to show a connection and to show that they inhabit the same world. In Brooklyn’s Finest everybody ends up in the same building eventually though they never end up in each other’s story.
We follow three cops around the streets of Brooklyn; Eddie (Gere) who is an alcoholic, depressed and one week away from his retirement. His job this last week is to teach some rookies the trick of the trade. Lifeless as he is, he tries to teach them to do things by the book and never be a hero. That stuff will get you killed.
Tango (Cheadle) is an undercover cop who’s in so deep that the line between right and wrong blurs. He tries to get out, but his superiors always request just one more thing from him. He’s friends with the just-released Caz (Snipes). He saved Tango’s life once and tries to go straight, but Tango is given the assignment to entrap him.
Sal is a crooked cop, stealing money from drug bust scenes so he can put a down-payment on a house he wants for his family. He has seven kids and his asthmatic wife is having health issues due to mold in the walls. And she’s expecting twins. Maybe he should have done something about birth control. That’s lot less expensive than a new house.
These are not your most pleasant characters. They’re all dicks actually, and I don’t mean the cop-term. Eddie is a self loathing cop not giving a shit about his job or the people, Tango doesn’t know who to be loyal to and is almost being devoured by the drug world and Sal is completely focused on getting the money for the new house by any means necessary. The only light sides to their characters are their motives; Sal for his family, Tango for his friend and Eddie redeems himself by eventually trying to save a missing girl/woman out of the clutches of a couple of pimps who use them as sex slaves.
Unrealistic at times but still engaging Brooklyn’s Finest is a portrait of three cops who can hardly be called “finest”. It’s not the most memorable “multiple story line” movie and doesn’t have the impact of Magnolia or even Crash, but it is intriguing. Despite the unlikeable character you understand their motives and they are partially justified. Especially in the case of Sal, but at the same time he was the character I loathed the most, mostly due to his stupidity. I liked how Eddie went on a path to redemption, his final scenes are some of the best of the movie whereas the other two end on a tone similar to Training Day.
Bullets; the Deus ex machina for urban movies.