Wesley Snipes and Don Cheadle in the predictable cops-on-the- street flick, "Brooklyn's Finest." (Senator Entertainment)
Tawdry, slick and self-consciously gritty, "Brooklyn's Finest" features Ethan Hawke as a cop struggling with corruption.
Wait. Didn't director Antoine Fuqua already make a movie featuring Ethan Hawke as a cop struggling with corruption?
Yes, he did; it was called "Training Day," and it was Fuqua's last big success back in 2001. So here we go again.
This time out, though, Hawke plays the corrupt cop, and his story is one of three lines that run through the film, all heading toward dramatic bloodlettings.
Hawke plays Sal, trying to steal the money for a down payment on a house any way he can (well, aside from actually working for it). All herky-jerky energy and quick-draw cockiness, he does plenty of bad things for a good cause -- a better home for his wife (Lili Taylor) and kids.
Meanwhile, there's Tango (Don Cheadle), who's deep undercover with dope dealers, trying to protect one of them (Wesley Snipes) and losing perspective on whether he's a good guy or bad guy.
Eddie (Richard Gere) appears to mainly be a tired guy. He's a few days from retirement and a complete burnout when he's given the job of training some rookie.
Fuqua and writer Michael C. Martin let these three walk the mean streets, cavorting with hookers, strippers, dopers, bagmen and assorted unsavory types. In fact, the film makes you wonder if anybody in Brooklyn is savory.
None of the stories goes anywhere surprising, but they each roll around in plenty of dirt and disillusionment on the way to their inevitable shootouts.
The problem is: Moviegoers have seen all this before, not only in "Training Day" but in all the son-of-Scorsese films of the past 30 years. As a result, "Brooklyn's Finest" seems average at best.