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Brooklyn's Finest: Hardly 

Brooklyn's Finest certainly isn't Hollywood's finest. This tired police actioner admittedly picks up during its second half, but by then, patrons may be too deep in slumber to be woken even by the constant gunplay, shouted profanity or blaring coincidences that clang against each other with Crash-like precision.

Speaking of Crash, that film's Don Cheadle shows up for ensemble duty here as well, playing one of three NYC police officers whose lives will intersect at various points during this pedestrian picture's running time. He plays Tango, an undercover cop who isn't sure if he can betray the powerful crime lord (Wesley Snipes) who trusts him like a brother. Meanwhile, Sal (Ethan Hawke) is tired of trying to support his large family on his measly salary, so he figures there's no harm in pocketing the cash found in the drug dens he helps bust. Finally, there's Eddie (one-note Richard Gere), a surly loner who has only one week to go before his retirement.

Antoine Fuqua previously directed Training Day (for which Denzel Washington won his second Oscar), but here he's tackling a script with training wheels, as Michael C. Martin (making his feature-film writing debut) can't escape from the ghosts of cop flicks past. The only modest surprises occur at the very end -- not everyone lands the fate that might be expected -- but at that point, most viewers will be ready to walk a different beat altogether.

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