Sunday, January 11, 2015

Netflix Mail Day Movie Review: "Training Day" (2001)

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Movie"Training Day"
Director: Antoine Fuqua
Year: 2001
Rating: R
Running Time: 2 hours, 2 minutes

A young police officer named Jake Hoyt (Ethan Hawke) is hoping to advance through the ranks of the department and eventually make detective. He has a training day with the head of undercover narcotics, Det. Alonzo Harris (Denzel Washington), and hopes he will get added to his unit. This training day and Alonzo himself are nothing like Jake expected. Jake is straight as an arrow and a good cop, but if he hopes to advance, his career he may have to get a little dirty. 

Does it get any better than Denzel in the prime of his career? We think not, and his role as Alonzo Harris garnered him an Oscar win for Best Actor, so I guess he must have done something right.

Though Denzel Washington and Ethan Hawke don't seem like a likely pair, together, they really do make some mischievous magic together in this movie. The plot of the film is simple enough, but the tension that director Antoine Fuqua is able to build begins from the moment Hoyt steps into Harris' police car, which is practically at the beginning of the film. Up and coming, young police officer Jake Hoyt will do whatever it takes to prove he's worthy of a job as detective, but he certainly didn't bargain for what Alonzo Harris had to offer him as a Narc detective. Koyt needed to learn real quick that he was going to need to bend the rules to fit in with Alonzo Harris, even if it meant getting duped into doing so. Because of these interactions between the two, we experience a devious and thrilling ride of a movie full of twists, lies and insane moments with some of the best acting both Washington and Hawke have given the movie-going public.

Though some the things going on on-screen are less than honorable, as audience members, we couldn't help but turn away and wonder what was coming next. "Training Day" gets very violent as revelations come to light, but we expected it would be for a film about police officers, narcotics, and the rough streets of Los Angeles. Hoyt finds himself in one predicament after the other as his ethics and honor are questions and turned upside down. The film also explores the vast amounts of police corruption as the characters justify their actions through successful arrest rates. In the end, not just Harris and Hoyt, but audience members, too, must ask themselves if they believe their ends justifies the means since the officers get a lot of criminals convicted though their methods are less than legal and honorable. The movie is gripping, brilliantly acted, fast-paced and fantastically directed, but it's not a film you can sit down and enjoy time and time again. Ultimately, it sheds a light on what can be the harsh reality of what it's like to be a cop.

My Rating: 8/10
BigJ's Rating: 8.5/10
IMDB's Rating: 7.7/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 72%
Do we recommend this movie: Yes!

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