A rookie cop spends his first day as a Los Angeles narcotics officer with a rogue detective who isn't what he appears to be.A rookie cop spends his first day as a Los Angeles narcotics officer with a rogue detective who isn't what he appears to be.A rookie cop spends his first day as a Los Angeles narcotics officer with a rogue detective who isn't what he appears to be.
Training Day is a prime example of how just one scene can elevate a film to greatness.
You all know the scene I'm talking about. Alonzo's monologue against the street that he thought would cooperate with him. That scene. Urgh, genius. A rookie narcotics officer is paired with a more experienced, albeit corrupt, detective for a day of training in the urban streets of Los Angeles. What looks like a semi-professional day on the job turns out to be a nightmare for the rookie. There are a ridiculous amount of positives, but unfortunately there are various negatives that prevents the police drama from being classed as a classic. At its core, this is a character study. A twisted, demented and self-assured detective who may have started out with the right intentions, but gradually becomes corrupted by the streets. The screenplay consistently reaffirms the idea that it is the environment that changes a person. Being adaptable under given scenarios. The depiction of the streets of Los Angeles and the black and white segregation is rather prominent throughout the film's runtime. Yet it feels extremely real. It is the gritty and dark undertone embedded within the narrative that intrigues you and makes you invested in the characters. Speaking of our protagonist(s), Ethan Hawke was sublime as the naive rookie who just wants to help the world, one crime at a time. However, Denzel Washington just owns every scene in what I can only describe as his best performance. His acting was ferocious. Conveying confidence and fear simultaneously. David Ayer's best script (although that's not saying much...) and Antoine Fuqua's best directorial effort. It's just a shame the ending was unsatisfying with too many plot conveniences throughout. What were the chances that the girl they saved at the beginning was the cousin of a Sureño who was going to kill Jake!? Absurdly convenient. Then later we get the craziest overkill of the decade. Bullets galore. Alas, I do find this to be a gripping police drama and Washington's best performance. That's enough for me to highly recommend this.
- Feb 27, 2018
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