Brooklyn RulesPenned by Sopranos scribe Terence Winter, and apparently based loosely on actual events in his life, Brooklyn Rules is the surprisingly satisfying tale of three life-long friends growing up in Brooklyn.

Though Alec Baldwin’s mug looms over the rest of the cast on the DVD cover, his mob boss character is really only part of an incidental side plot that helps shape the events of the film. The real stars are Scott Caan, Jerry Ferrara, and Freddie Prinze Jr. in an unexpected dramatic turn. After starring in preteen rom-coms of the late 90’s and his own failed television show, the intense character that Prinze delivers in Brooklyn Rules comes as a shocking left hook to the viewer’s expectations. Either Prinze has been hiding his true talent all along or director Michael Corrente has an uncanny knack for drawing out a performance. Either way, Freddie Prinze Jr. has never been better. Scott Caan, best known from the Ocean’s Eleven movies, also dishes out a remarkably subtle and surprisingly deep portrait of a young mobster.

As Caan, Prinze, and Ferrara travel from night club to diner to each other’s homes, a theme of friendship and loyalty slowly evolves, with mafia ties providing a backdrop to the story. Baldwin makes a strong showing and it’s clear that without his heavyweight acting cred and history, this film probably couldn’t get onto the shelves. He’s mostly playing Alec Baldwin here, but it’s still fun to watch. Mena Suvari (American Beauty) shows up midway through as an effective love interest for Prinze’s character, and a symbol of his desire to free himself from his Brooklyn roots.

Brooklyn Rules is the rare film that not only exceeds expectations on the acting front, but delivers an honest and sobering tale of friendship and brotherhood in the process. Though the tone is decidedly dark throughout, the actors and script keep the film light enough to not weigh too heavily on the viewer. As actor Jerry Ferrara says in the cast interviews included on the disc, “This is the kind of film that makes you want to call a friend after you watch it.” It may not illicit that strong of an emotion over the majority of viewers, but at least it’s a decent drama with a strong cast, and at best it’s a powerful memoir that will leave a lasting impression.

Zach’s Rating: B+
Mob film fan rating: A-
She’s All That fan rating: C

To purchase Brooklyn Rules (out 9/18), visit Amazon
For more information and to view the trailer, visit the film’s homepage 

Be Sociable, Share!