Training Day

"OK"

Training Day Review


There is one reason and one reason only to see "Training Day" -- watching Denzel Washington sink his teeth into a charismatic role as a chest-thumping, cigarette-chopping, gold chain-wearing, hydraulic low rider-driving, street punk-pounding narcotics cop who is crooked, proud and high on power.

That's not to say the movie doesn't have some other merits -- imposing permanent-sunset photography, a slickly menacing ghetto atmosphere, a strong performance by Ethan Hawke as a patrol officer having his mettle tested for a promotion to Washington's unit of vigilante detectives. But the draw here is seeing a great actor, known for playing roles of incorruptible integrity, go bad.

At once droll and incredibly intimidating, Washington is a knockout as Alonzo Harris, a detective who believes in street justice and enjoys metering out a bit of it himself a couple times a day. His philosophy -- or at least part of it, for the movie is thick with meaty moral dialogue -- is that "it takes a wolf to catch a wolf." And Alonzo fancies himself the Big Bad Wolf.

Just how bad is what beat cop Jake Hoyt (Hawke) is about to find out. Principled and idealistic, yet shrewd and gritty, he has one day to prove he can hold his own on Alonzo's turf -- and you can see bits of his virtue being chipped away for every mile of his revealing ride-along.

Alonzo tells him "a good narcotics agent should have narcotics in his blood," then roughs up some college kids making a street corner pot purchase, takes their dope and forces Jake to get stoned at gunpoint. Later Alonzo stands by as his recruit gets roughed up while saving a high school girl two from rapists in an alley. Then he lets the perps go after giving them a good scare, because they're not the kind of big fish he wants on his arrest record.

When Jake learns that Russian mobsters have put a price on his mentor's head, he starts to get nervous wondering just how corrupt Alonzo is -- and he's about to find out because the man didn't pick Jake at random to roll with him that day.

Directed by flashy Antoine Fuqua ("Bait," "The Replacement Killers"), "Training Day" thrives on the strengths of its two stars, who play beautifully the unbalanced dynamic of their mutual distrust. But while that's enough to carry the movie for several reels, the plot eventually writes Jake into a corner (the best scene in the picture finds him playing poker with gang-bangers he knows are supposed to kill him) and resorts to a wildly convenient coincidence get him out of it.

Once that happens, a wrong-minded degradation begins, hitting several logical potholes on the road toward a terribly out-of-character action movie finale. Hawke even leaps off an apartment building rooftop (after getting the snot beat out of him) onto the hood of a moving car to stop a bad guy's getaway.

This conspicuous departure from the film's early high, in which Fuqua skillfully sidestepped several looming clichés, alters the fantastically tense mood of "Training Day," bringing it down to the level of a video game.



Training Day

Facts and Figures

Run time: 122 mins

In Theaters: Friday 5th October 2001

Box Office USA: $76.1M

Box Office Worldwide: $104.9M

Budget: $45M

Distributed by: Warner Bros. Pictures

Production compaines: Warner Bros. Pictures

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 72%
Fresh: 111 Rotten: 44

IMDB: 7.7 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Starring: as Alonzo Harris, as Jake Hoyt, as Roger, as Stan Gursky, as Doug Rosselli, as Smiley, as Blue, Dr. Dre as Paul, as Sara, as Tim, Jaime Osorio Gómez as Mark, as Lisa

Also starring: , ,

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Swallows and Amazons Movie Review

Swallows and Amazons Movie Review

After a number of films, TV series and stage adaptations, Arthur Ransome's beloved 1930 novel...

David Brent: Life on the Road Movie Review

David Brent: Life on the Road Movie Review

The original BBC sitcom The Office ran for 14 episodes from 2001 to 2003, and...

The Childhood of a Leader Movie Review

The Childhood of a Leader Movie Review

Bold and intelligent, this dark drama is a challenging portrait of the making of an...

Pete's Dragon Movie Review

Pete's Dragon Movie Review

This hugely enjoyable adventure is a loose remake of the 1977 Disney hit that blended...

The Shallows Movie Review

The Shallows Movie Review

With a simple premise and plenty of visual style, Spanish filmmaker Jaume Collet-Serra (Unknown) takes...

Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates Movie Review

Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates Movie Review

Watching this gross-out comedy, it's clear that the gifted cast and crew had a great...

Nerve Movie Review

Nerve Movie Review

With a premise that feels almost eerily current, this stylish thriller revolves around a phone...

Advertisement
The Carer Movie Review

The Carer Movie Review

Brian Cox gets the role of a lifetime in this warm comedy about living life...

Born to Be Blue Movie Review

Born to Be Blue Movie Review

Writer-director Robert Budreau takes a stylised approach to this biopic of the legendary jazz artist...

Jason Bourne Movie Review

Jason Bourne Movie Review

It's been nine years since Matt Damon and Paul Greengrass collaborated on The Bourne Ultimatum,...

The Commune [Kollektivet] Movie Review

The Commune [Kollektivet] Movie Review

Veteran Danish filmmaker Thomas Vinterberg (Festen, The Hunt) returns to a smaller homegrown story after...

The BFG Movie Review

The BFG Movie Review

For his adaptation of the Roald Dahl classic, Steven Spielberg reunited with screenwriter Melissa Mathison,...

Finding Dory Movie Review

Finding Dory Movie Review

It's been 13 years since the release of the Disney/Pixar hit Finding Nemo, and filmmaker...

Star Trek Beyond Movie Review

Star Trek Beyond Movie Review

This is where the Star Trek franchise officially shifts from thoughtful drama into thunderous action....

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.