Brooklyn's Finest

Brooklyn's Finest (2010)
Anchor Bay Entertainment
Cast: Don Cheadle, Richard Gere, Ethan Hawke, Wesley Snipes, Will Patton
Extras: Commentary Track, Featurettes, Deleted Scenes, Character Profiles, Digital Copy

While most people associate director Antoine Fuqua with "Training Days, " to me he is the guy who made "Shooter," "King Arthur" and Chow Yun Fat's first Hollywood movie, "The Replacement Killers." With his latest movie, "Brooklyn's Finest" he revisits the New York police force with remarkable grit and depth.

"Brooklyn's Finest" revolves around three main characters, all of them NYPD officers, whose lives seem to have nothing in common, until events take them onto a spiraling challenge of morals and character.

Eddie (Richard Gere) is an aging, lonely and disillusioned street cop who spends his last days on the job, squatting his last seven days simply to reach retirement. At this point in his career he has lost all ambition and will look the other way when he sees injustice on the streets of Brooklyn just so he doesn't have to push the paperwork.

Sal (Ethan Hawke) on the other hand is a powerhouse in the narcotics department, his days filled with para-military raids on drug dens and dealers. As perfect as he may be on his job, Sal is struggling however, to give his family a proper live. The meager salary of the police force is sadly not enough to move his sick wife and five children to a better neighborhood, and torn by conflict and the feeling of inadequacy he is ready to skim some money off the top to fulfill his family's dreams.

On the other end of the spectrum is Tango (Don Cheadle), an undercover cop who has spent years among the Brooklyn drug pushers and has risen to heights in the organization that gives him the opportunity to bring the entire house of cards to tumble – and to justice. However, his superiors disagree and keep him on the job despite Tango's insistence that he wants to return to a normal life. When the police force finally asks him to incriminate and give up the man who has become his best friend over the years, Tango is torn between his job and his personal feelings.

Weaving these three strands of plot together masterfully, "Brooklyn's Finest" is a very cool and engaging film that shows us that there are many shades of gray even among the good guys. The temptation that leads to corruption becomes tangible for the viewer – though not necessarily condonable – and the conflict of these people on their respective jobs is every bit as real as the dangers on the streets they walk where every minute could potentially be their last,simply because of the badge they wear.

Featuring a meticulously clean high definition transfer, this Blu-Ray version of "Brooklyn's Finest" makes for a great presentation that manages to reproduce the edginess and grittiness of the subject and backdrop in every frame. Deep blacks create visual depth and dangerous shadows that reflect palpable menace. Add to it the solid color reproduction and you have a great-looking modern movie at the top of its game.

The release contains a PCM 5.1 audio track as well as a high bitrate Dolby Digital audio track, making sure the audio presentation is every bit as engaging as the video. The mix is balanced and dialogues are never drowned out by sound effects or the music.

A number of extras are included on this disc, such as an insightful commentary track featuring director Antoine Fuqua. The commentary is filled with interesting bits of information – background information on the work the NYPD does every day that may not always take the spotlight, but also on the production of the movie, the locations and his cast.

Also included are a number of featurettes covering various aspects of the movie and its real backdrop. A closer look at Fuqua as a director is also included, as well as a featurette giving you the chance to learn more about screenwriter Michael Martin. Deleted scenes and character profiles round out this release, along with a digital copy of the movie on a separate disc.

"Brookyln's Finest" is a very cool film that you should check out when you have the chance. With a stellar cast, this story is every bit as thought provoking as it is gritty.