Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Training Day |
Actors: Raymond J. Barry, Tom Berenger, Nick Chinlund, Raymond Cruz, Scott Glenn
Director: Antoine Fuqua
Genres: Action & Adventure, Drama
Similarly Requested DVDs
Member Movie Reviews
Reviewed on 8/28/2015...
Denzel Washingtons performance in this is outstanding ! I never thought I would see him play the part of such a rotten jerk ! But he did it well !
Chewing scenery and spitting it out...
Andrew Ellington | I'm kind of everywhere | 06/01/2010
(4 out of 5 stars)
"There is no denying that `Training Day' is remarkably entertaining and wholly engaging from start to finish. In fact, this is one of those films that leaves the viewer with baited breath, constantly wrapping us around its tightly woven finger to keep us engaged and engrossed, thoroughly.
That said, this is not a film that ages remarkably well. Yes, it remains entertaining and exciting, but upon reflection it becomes easy to point out the flaws.
It isn't as smart as I remembered it being.
Still, there is little not to like about this film. Yes, it is violent and littered with profanities, but if you know anything about this movie then you should know what you are walking into and so you really have no room to complain about those things. This is a gritty cop movie filled with drugs and gangsters and death; and the trailer alone kind of made that evident.
The film follows a rookie cop named Jake as he gets a taste of the job from his new partner, Alonzo Harris. Alonzo is a rough and tumble cop who is apparently crooked. The job has hardened him, making him ruthless and corruptible. Jake has not yet been manipulated by his profession. He is still green and his naivety makes him an easy (allegedly) target for Alonzo's games. As their day together escalates, things happen that set off a series of alarms in Jake's head. This is not going to be your typical day on the job. As the day draws to a close it becomes apparent that Alonzo has had a lot more than just work on his mind, and soon violence spreads like a plague over this newfound, explosive partnership.
For me, this film is intensely edited and directed to capture your interest and hold it firmly in its grip. Each scene is manipulated in a way to keep us glued. This is a blessing, but upon reflection it also seems like a curse. The film dissolves into nothing more than a series of scenes; no real moving plot just exciting moments strung together. When it does try to form a plot it winds up becoming a tad too far fetched for its own good. It works solely because of the pacing and the performances. If left on its own right the film would have fallen apart.
Those performances (or the two that matter) are beautifully compatible. For me, this is easily Ethan Hawkes movie. So much love and flattery has been showered on Denzel Washington for his performance here, but that is only because it is flashy and baity. Honestly, Hawke had the harder character to formulate, someone who is suppressed in his own convictions as he observes and reacts to the outlandish behavior of someone he cannot trust yet needs to in order to survive. He has to make his subtle performance equal Washington's flamboyant one or else he suffers becoming overshadowed and thus forgotten. I'm so glad he got the Oscar nomination, even if it was in the wrong category (how in the world was he supporting?). Denzel is very good here, if not a tad over the top. He nails a lot of scenes (the introduction scene in the diner is still one of my favorite moments in film this entire decade) but he also goes overboard a few times. He runs that fine line between intense and hammy.
In the end I give this a solid B+. I still think that the script is the films weakest link. It has a nice contrast of morality at play here, and it had the potential to really tap into that concept (and it does to a degree) but the overall plot just doesn't stand up on its own. It works far better as a concept than an actual story. That said, the fresh take on direction and the solid performances make this a must see film, and one that you will surely enjoy."
Riding the tiger
JLind555 | 08/30/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It's interesting how some of our best actors give some of their best performances playing thoroughly detestable characters. It's as if they were able to tap into the dark side that lurks inside all of us in varying degrees, and play it to the hilt while enjoying every minute of it. Richard Gere playing a venal cop in "Internal Affairs". Ralph Fiennes as a loathsome concentration camp commander in "Schindler's List", and playing the ultimate bad guy as Harry Potter's nemesis Voldemort. Humphrey Bogart as Dobbs in "The Treasure of the Sierra Madre". And now comes Denzel Washington, usually the squeaky-clean hero of whatever film he's in, giving a bang-up performance as Alonzo Harris, a LAPD detective who is rotten to the core.
"Training Day" chronicles one momentous day, from dawn to midnight, in the lives of two cops. Jake Hoyt is a newly minted detective, anxious to make the grade in Alonzo Harris's elite narcotics squad, who takes "Serve And Protect" seriously. He rides shotgun with Alonzo for the day. Alonzo is going to break him in to what being a narcotics detective is about. But Jake finds out that Alonzo has his own code that has nothing to do with serving or protecting, and everything to do with exploiting the people he's supposed to serve and protect. He robs the dealers and steals their cash. He breaks into people's homes with fake warrants. "I got 'em all under my thumb", he brags about the inhabitants of the Los Angeles ghettos. We soon realize that Alonzo's superiors have allowed him to do pretty much whatever he wants to do as long as he doesn't embarrass them by getting caught. But Alonzo has his own problems, which require prompt resolution -- a very expensive weekend in Las Vegas left the Russian mafia into him for one million dollars, payable by midnight if he wants to live to see the dawn, and he's not past doing whatever he has to in order to come up with that sum, including armed robbery and homicide.
Ethan Hawke gives the performance of a lifetime as Jake Hoyt, the idealistic, impressionable young detective who very soon realizes he's riding a tiger he may not be able to shake loose. It can't be like this, he protests to Alonzo. But Alonzo responds, that's how it is; deal with it. And Jake is left alone to somehow find his way out of this mess and salvage his own integrity in the process.
Along with Hawke and Washington, some minor characters give some outstanding performances. Chief among them are Scott Glen as Roger, Alonzo's erstwhile friend who has something he very much wants; Cliff Curtis, a hitherto unknown Maori actor from New Zealand who gives a devastating performance as Smiley, the Latino thug from the Hillside Trece gang whom Alonzo sets up to waste Jake, once he realizes there is a limit to his venality past which Jake refuses to cross, at which point Jake becomes a liability; Eva Mendes as one of Alonzo's four babymommies, and Cle Sloan as Bone, the South Central gangbanger who makes Alonzo finally realize that maybe he doesn't have them all under his thumb the way he thought he did.
The film gets off to a fairly slow start but after the first fifteen minutes it hits warp speed and never lets up. Antoine Fuqua directed a great movie that is a star vehicle for two outstanding actors. It's an ugly picture, and we want to protest along with Jake that it can't be this way, but we have to agree with Alonzo that maybe, sometimes, it is.