Star-Lord and Rocket

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Denzel Washington is a beast in TRAINING DAY (2001)

Over his long spanning career, Denzel Washington has always played the noble, upstanding character. A good guy that always does the right thing. Respected and loved. His roles in Courage Under Fire, Glory, The Pelican Grief, Philadelphia, The Siege, etc all show Denzel doing his normal thing. All that changed when he took the role of rogue LA police detective Alonzo Harris, who recruits a rookie police officer named Jake Hoyt (played by Ethan Hawke) and gives him a crash course in police work. Things start off simple enough when the two pull over some college kids, who just bought some drugs from a dealer. But when Jake is forced by Alonzo to smoke some of those drugs, things take a turn for the worse. Hoyt realizes he is in over his head as Alonzo repeatedly crosses over the line with his questionable tactics. Like strong-arming informants to killing former police officers and stealing stashes of money. Things come to a head when Jake makes a stand against Alonzo. Training Day is a raw, unflinching movie about police corruption. It should be a standard dirty cop movie but Denzel and Ethan elevate it to a higher level with their strong performances. You will be caught off-guard by Denzel's performance, as you have never seen him this dark before. He won an Oscar for Best Actor that year. Hawke is equally good too as the naive young cop suddenly thrust into this dangerous world. There are also strong supporting performances from Scott Glenn, Raymond J. Barry, Tom Berenger, Eva Mendes, and Cliff Curtis.
Training Day is one of the best of the police corruption movies.
B+

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