Friday, July 9, 2010
DVDebut: BROOKLYN'S FINEST -- better than you've heard, but not good enough
Antoine Fuqua is developing quite a name and a repu-
tation. He may be the most commercially successful black filmmaker working today. A journeyman director of the dark and gritty, his movies always promise more than they deliver. Yet, from his first full-length effort, The Replacement Killers, he has shown such promise that each of his films has proven worth seeing, though none truly satisfies -- including his most successful:
BROOKLYN'S FINEST begins exceptionally well, with a toss-you-into-the-middle-of-it set-up and some terrific dialog between Vincent D'Onofrio (great, as usual) and Ethan Hawke (above, right). Much of the dialog in the entire film is first-rate (the writer is Michael C. Martin); I used the Blu-Ray's English subtitles, in fact, so as not to miss any of it. Hawke, too, is excellent, but appears again in the kind of role (playing either side of the coin) he does so often -- Training Day, Assault on Precinct 13, Staten Island, Before the Devil Knows You're Dead, and now this one -- that he may soon be relegated to it. Also on board is Richard Gere (above, left) who is as good as he's been in some time, playing a cop about to retire who has major trouble playing by the rules.
Don Cheadle (above, right) and Wesley Snipes (above, left). The latter is just out of prison and toying with going (semi)straight, while the former is a dirty undercover cop, vying for a promotion yet! Standing in the way of same is a new power broker on the block, played by Ellen Barkin, below. (Women figure but tangentially and remotely in Fuqua films.)
Brooklyn's Finest, an ironic title if ever there was one, is out this week on Blu-Ray and DVD for sale or rental.