Nov 112004

Training Day (2001)

On his first day on the job as a narcotics officer, a rookie cop works with a rogue detective who isn’t what he appears as.

Directed by
Antoine Fuqua

Crime, Drama, Thriller

Denzel Washington, Ethan Hawke, Scott Glenn, Tom Berenger, Harris Yulin, Raymond J. Barry, Cliff Curtis, Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Macy Gray, Charlotte Ayanna, Eva Mendes, Nick Chinlund, Jaime Gomez, Raymond Cruz

“Training Day” is a third rate cop drama/thriller with an uninteresting plot and not one believable character. The movie couldn’t be further removed from reality. If this was supposed to be a brainless action movie it wouldn’t bother me that much, but since this flick has won an Oscar one can’t be so forgiving.

It’s good to see Denzel Washington not preaching about American History or Human Rights for once, but that’s not saying he can’t give any speeches here. He still finds more than his share of opportunities to go on and on about the tough life on the street, what it means to be a cop, etc., etc. His character is a joke. The things his character is saying all day is so obviously BS, that no one would buy it. Ethan Hawke’s character is ridiculously naive and/or stupid to fall for Washington’s excuses every time he screwed up again. Good cop/bad cop are just two of the stereotypes in the movie. Add to this countless “ghetto nigga”-clich?s, a peaceful drug dealer who wants to quit the business and start a new life, and a bunch of brutal but honorable “gangstaz”. This is no portrayal of reality, it’s a kid’s (or an ignorant white guy’s) imagination of life in the drug squad.

What’s worst is that the movie isn’t even entertaining for the first hour or so. It’s not until the third act, when we’ve finally accepted the stupid nature of the movie, that it gets a bit thrilling. It’s still implausible and annoying how all of a sudden every character turns against the bad guy. I can’t figure out how this shallow script convinced anybody. There are better dramas and there are way better cop movies out there. This “Training Day” is better soon forgotten.

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