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Police In The Movies Essay

2135 words - 9 pages

Imagine that you are going to the movie theatre on a Saturday night with a group of friends; you finally have the chance to see that new police movie that everyone has been raving about. You buy your tickets, get some popcorn, and go into the theatre just in time for the movie to start. Two hours pass by in what seems like seconds, and the movie has come to its end. Suddenly, you have all become movie critics: You praise the “crime-fighter” police officers in the fast-action scenes but criticize all of the appalling police corruption that seemingly goes unnoticed.
Sound familiar? The hypothetical scenario aforementioned depicts how susceptible members of society can be. Inadvertently, the public develops misconstrued perceptions about the criminal justice system—this holds especially true with police officers. Consequently, people develop outrageous expectations and make hastily assumptions and judgments. If Hollywood produced a realistic police movie, no one would see it. Why? For starters, police work is nowhere near as thrilling as the movies illustrate. Further, police officers in movies habitually fall within two categories: (1) the crime-fighter “good cops,” or (2) the immorally corrupt “bad cops.” As one journalist notes, "the ubiquity of the formulas employed in fictional forms of American popular culture has to do with
the dualism of virtue and depravity, which is not confined to tales of crime and to the legal film" (Kuzina 95). In addition, Hollywood’s version of how the system operates is quite far from the truth; in reality, the standards and procedures of the criminal justice system are immensely complex. However, buried under the media’s hyperboles lie certain realities as well. The tedious task is deciphering between fact and fiction. “End of Watch” and “Brooklyn’s Finest” are both movies that focus on police officers and their duties. Although neither depicts police with 100% accuracy, they are on complete opposite ends of the spectrum. “End of Watch” portrays police officers more accurately than “Brooklyn’s Finest,” which is an utterly inaccurate representation. In today’s world, people are susceptible to believing that the police in the media are reflective of the police in society.
Journalist Peter Rainer’s review of “Brooklyn’s Finest” provides a short, but dead-on, synopsis: "Three cops, all of them in varying stages of psychological meltdown, gradually come apart before our eyes, leaving behind them a wake of corpses and cash. If ever there was a nonrecruitment movie for police work, this is it." The movie takes audiences to a crime-ridden precinct in Brooklyn, New York where three cops are at their end’s meet. Ethan Hawke plays a special operations cop, “Sal,” who has resorted to stealing drug money in order to take care of his family; Richard Gere plays “Eddie,” a burnt-out cop who retires in 7 days; and Don Cheadle plays “Tango,” an undercover vice cop that is too caught up in the game. Essentially, every...

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