Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club. Because No News is Bad News.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Derivative screenplay sinks Brooklyn’s Finest

Posted By on Wed, Mar 3, 2010 at 3:26 AM

Screenwriter Michael C. Martin’s success story is the kind that makes entertainment writers salivate and less successful screenwriters gnash their envious teeth. The film student and former subway worker wrote the script for this cop movie while recovering from a car wreck. He entered it in a contest, and it was picked up by an L.A. producer and bought by Millennium Films, which hired the talented Antoine Fuqua, director of Training Day, which Brooklyn’s Finest resembles in theme and casting. The movie also got a terrific cast including Richard Gere, Don Cheadle, Training Day’s Ethan Hawke and the long-absent Wesley Snipes. The story traces the fates of three cops confronted with the temptations of corruption: Clarence (Cheadle), working undercover and longing for a desk job, offered at the cost of sacrificing a drug kingpin (Snipes) he’s befriended; Sal (Hawke), a cash-strapped, devoutly Catholic family man lured by piles of confiscated drug money; and Eddie (Gere), a burned-out cop nearing retirement. The parts are meaty enough to show off the excellent cast, and Fuqua’s techniques are impressive. Unfortunately, the extreme bloodiness and predictable, derivative screenplay — Gere’s canoodling with a prostitute he wants to take away from it all provoked preview-audience titters — compromises his best efforts. ** 1/2


We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Cleveland Scene works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Cleveland and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Cleveland's true free press free.

Read the Digital Print Issue

September 23, 2020

View more issues


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.