Antoine Fuqua: noted director for one of the best films of 2001, along with one of the best overall films ever Training Day. Influential director who inspired many of the scenes we see in modern-day crime dramas. In this, Fuqua’s most anticipated films since the former, the films centers around the whole city being affected by multiple different players, be them undercover cops, straight-laced burnouts, or drug dealers. It is the nearest example to a great-twisted story of cops, narcs and dealers since The Departed.
Ethan Hawke plays a cop who has twins coming on the way to his already overgrown family, who are living in a moldy old house. When he finds that he will have to make a more substantial amount of money to buy his family a new home, he gets very aggressive and sets off on a mission to get everything at any cost. Don Cheadle plays an undercover cop involved in the drug game in the inner city of Brooklyn, where when his old friend (Wesley Snipes) reappears after years of being jailed, Cheadle is offered the chance to turn him in for a detective desk job. Richard Gere, who gives the best performance of the film, plays a soon-to-retire cop who has to show rookies around so they can get the hang of the job. When he sees the true life of the city, he finds that though there is nothing he can do, he has to do something.
The things that surprised me about this movie are that 1. Training Day was COMPLETELY different than this film. 2. Richard Gere was excellent and very convincing. This film was honestly surprising, seeing that the only two other movies this year that I have seen that have been worthy of praise are Book of Eli (Go Denzel!) and Shutter Island (For obvious reasons).
The best aspects of this film were the great screenplay, the great acting, and the twist ending that aggravates and intensifies the whole spectrum.
The worst aspect: Immediate ending. These always pissed me off, because you never completely know the outcome off all events, and so it just ends like… Taking of Pelham 1 2 3 where he is about to walk inside of his house and he looks up and smiles as the screen stops on his face with a “yay!” themed song playing just before the credits role. This ending is like a much more depressing and dramatic version, with a more happy character ending, because though nothing is resolved, you can kind of figure how the lives of the surrounding people will lead.
Bottom Line: A. A great film that will hopefully be looked into.