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Friday, March 5, 2010

"Brooklyn's Finest"

I loved a film called "Training Day" and I have spent a lot of time trying to find a worthy follow-up from any member of the creative team. First I looked into the other films of director Antoine Fuqua, only to find a long string of duds. Then I started to follow the screenwriter David Ayer, quickly finding the same. Now with "Brooklyn's Finest," Fuqua returns to the corrupt cop drama with a new screenwriter and it is the film that has convinced me to stop waiting for lightning to strike twice.

"Brooklyn's Finest" tells several stories, only one of which goes in an interesting direction. It is no coincidence that this plot-line requires the least amount of set-up. Most of "Finest" is unbearably slow and the sole element that sets the last thread apart is an undeniably suspenseful final scene.

American cinema and television has many fine entries in the police-corruption sub-genre: "Serpico", "Prince of the City" (both directed by the brilliant Sidney Lumet), "The Shield", and of course, "Training Day". Each of Fuqua and Ayer's films show that the greatness of "Training Day" was entirely due to the acclaimed performance of Denzel Washington, and he has the Oscar to prove it.

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