Festival

Sundance Film Festival

2012

BROOKLYN'S FINEST: "best film ever made"?

Question and answer sessions at Sundance are, in theory, a great idea. In practice, not so much—especially those that follow “big” films like BROOKLYN’S FINEST, director Antoine Fuqua’s latest foray into the world of conflicted cops (after TRAINING DAY). Consider what the first questioner said to Fuqua once he took the stage: “First of all I think, clearly, this is the best film ever made.”

Clearly, it’s not. I’ve seen only two movies thus far (TYSON being the other) and BROOKLYN’S FINEST isn’t even the better of the two. Don Cheadle, Ethan Hawke, and Richard Gere don’t disappoint exactly, but the screenplay is so lacking in character depth that at times the actors seem visibly suffocated by it. Unfortunately I can’t tell you more without, in a way, spoiling the film. So I’ll just say this: The storyline is so increasingly absurd that it makes an episode of Gossip Girl look like THE STRAIGHT STORY.

Oh, and much of the audience laughed after the final scene.

Well, maybe some of those were gasps—this is not, after all, a happy film. I’m guessing 50 Cent, who was in attendance (he has a song in the film), loved it: It’s a bloodbath in which no one is spared. As Fuqua said during the Q&A, “It’s a Greek tragedy, it’s an opera.” (So which is it?) Or, as a man outside the Eccles Theatre said to a friend, “Are there any funny movies here?”

And here I thought I’d just seen one.