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on February 15, 2017
I had to know immediately who directed TRAINING DAY after watching in 2002 (damn that long ago...?). I only too recently just watched The Replacement Killers, a movie I had/had no urge at all to see discovering Chow Yun-Fat's American debut was quite entertaining also.
But, if you are a fan of Director Antoine Fuqua and/or have seen TRAINING DAY this should be an easy buy, The commentary by Fuqua is a good one, informing us that the "Jungle" of rough urban, L.A neighborhoods were, basically, gang infested and almost all extras from the "jungle" lived in that neighborhood. It could be dangerous to film at night, so, Director Fuqua was assured safety by "local" boys Bone, Sniper, and Blaster.
They were true to their word.

But, check this one out (again) even if (I agree) the finale fight gets a little carried away. There are so many good scenes in this action, head games, police corruption movie. I still laugh at the 3 Wise Men 'story' about the judge hoodwinked by peanut butter; and, damn, that scene with the Latinos (Cliff Curtis, Raymond Cruz...) one of the most intense confrontations I have ever seen on film.
This is cool, (mostly) realistic, police action movie -- with that Russian back story 'hanging' over the proceedings.
For lack of a better word: Awesome.
There are also 2 music videos (Nelly and Pharoahe Monch) as well as Deleted scenes and an Alternate Ending. The alternate ending was worth thinking about.
The Making of Training Day also contains some interviews and recollections from all the main cast and crew including Denzel, Ethan Hawke, and director Fuqua himself. A solid 25 minutes of insights and the prerequisite compliments for one another that do seem sincere (especially for Denzel who won an Oscar for his performance).
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on October 23, 2016
This movie is an all time favorite of mine. I love how the director presented the contrast between the two ways of viewing society from a cop's point of view. Hoyt's character, is annoying at first because of his naiveté towards the streets of South Central but you have to admire his unbendable moral compass towards duty and the badge. Alonzo is your typical gangbanger with a badge claiming the streets as his own personal army using corruption, fear and violence to control it. His character is so good at manipulating that you actually believe, like Hoyt, that he does what he does for the better good and not his own personal gain. This whole movie is a power struggle; a tug of war. Hoyt is struggling to gain power for a better life for his family but has seen how it corrupts so easily when achieved. As for Alonzo, he is struggling to keep his power and status in the streets, which he is rapidly losing, for having such a violent and short temper.
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on April 21, 2015
This cop thriller spans over not much more than 12 hours of tough, gritty and morally grey work in the ugly parts of LA. Between drug addicts, dealers and gang members the rookie gets his lessons by the leader of the pack. Washington and Hawke are perfect choices for their roles and especially Denzel's performance is magnificent, keeping his character somewhere between insanity and reason, menacing and jovial at the same time, deserving the Oscar he got for it. As an outsider, it is hard to say how realistic the film, as it isn't exactly painting a very flattering picture of the LAPD. But it is the lack of any morally comforting formulas that makes the plot so enthralling. Does the rookie get an important lesson or is he in the car with the devil? This question, carried by the strong performances and a great cinematography make this film work. As things get more and more dire, the audience can't help but get engaged. Excellent.
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on December 7, 2014
It's 2014 as this review is being submitted and many Americans' no longer feel a sense of trust and confidence in the men in blue who are supposed to serve and protect. Denzel Washington's portrayal of a brutal rogue cop in Training Day will do little to restore the trust.
Washington's Alonzo Harris is a soul beyond redemption. He is corrupt, brutal and without remorse as a law enforcer who takes a sinister joy in breaking every law he is supposed to uphold.

Enter Jake Hoyt, a blank slate that Alonzo is fully prepared to deface. Ethan Hawke (much under appreciated in his career, IMHO) portrays the conflicted rookie as walking carefully on a tight rope between good and evil. He's enthralled at first by Washington's character and part of the plot device of Training Day is the question of whether the rookie will fall.

Outstanding performances by both Hawke and Washington. Both men were not reluctant to visit the dark side.
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on June 30, 2014
Despite his "habits", you just can't help watching Denzel Washington as an LA cop who's thrown out the book and made up his own rules. Here, he's taking the new rookie, played by Ethan Hawke, on a "field trip" to assess whether the young man is ready to join his narcotics unit. Denzel Washington was by far my favorite in this film, though Scott Glen comes in as a solid second...wish I could have seen more of him. As for Ethan Hawke, he was all right. He had a number of good lines and the way he held his own throughout the film's events was certainly interesting, he sometimes reverted to being a goody-goody rookie. There's a difference of how Washington's character and I would view such a stereotype, and my version is worse. But nevertheless, Hawke fit in well with the cast and mostly made up for the parts I didn't like about his portrayal. This is a whole new cop movie and no one should miss it! Enjoy.
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on April 19, 2014
This is easily one of my favorite films of the aughts. It would probably be in my Top Ten of All Time list, if I had one, for the simple reason that it is one of the most fundamentally WATCHABLE movies ever. I can watch this film pretty much any day, any time. I can flip to it randomly on TV and get immediately engrossed. I can recall entire lines and scenes verbatim. Yes, it is flawed. True, it is not a perfect film. (I'm looking at you, Terminator showdown finale.) And the story is not entirely plausible. But. BUT. BUT! There are two things that make this movie effing great. The first one is obvious: Denzel. Jesus Christ, DENZEL. He embodies the morally reprehensible yet totally charismatic Alonzo like a handmade suit. Denzel is in practically every scene in this film, and holy hell he is pure cinemagnetism. (Can I coin that term right now?) Swagger, charm, menace. He won the Oscar for this role, and he deserved it. (BTW, Ethan Hawke is pretty good, too.) The second thing that makes this film great is the overall tone. There's a sense of dread that pulses through the whole thing. Simultaneously, it captures a time and place (turn of the century Los Angeles) that is so quintessentially American and gangsta that it cracks and pops. Even the dialogue gets fired like gunshots. In summary, this movie is downright special. I love it.
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on February 14, 2015
🚔🚔 AT FIRST I DIDN'T REALLY LIKE THAT DENZEL PLAYED THIS DARK, CREEPY ROLE. BUT HE WAS ABSOLUTELY BRILLIANT... THIS IS A CHARACTER HE HAS NEVER TAKEN ON BEFORE, THE VILLAIN ROLE, AND HE PLAYS THE PART FLAWLESSLY!!!! THE STORY WAS GREAT, KNOWING THAT THESE TYPE OF THINGS GO ON IN THE WORLD RIGHT NOW... THERE ARE GOOD COPS AND DIRTY COPS EVERYWHERE, AND IT'S HORRIBLE TO REALIZE THESE FACTS. THE ENDING WAS ABSOLUTELY PHENOMENAL... ANOTHER WINNER FOR DENZEL!!! 🚓🚓
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on May 26, 2012
This excellent film is Serpico on speed; an idealistic rookie cop fights entrenched corruption, not over the span of months, or years, but in less than 24 hours. Denzel is breathtaking in this tour-de-force, careering among charm, brutality, tenderness, sadism, thoughtfulness and savagery in taut, jolting scenes. Ethan Hawke plays the rookie he is training for possible work on an elite detective squad. Scott Glenn heads a fine ensemble of supporting players, whose fully formed characters ground the often outrageous deeds of Denzel's persona in reality.

The violence in the film is heart-stoppingly sudden, and the threat of it emits a miasma of menace. None of the mayhem, however, is gratuitous. In one verbal confrontation with Hawke, Denzel says,
"It's chess, not checkers!", in an attempt to explain his cozy relationship with a drug dealer (Glenn), and his willingness to discard him in a heartbeat. It is such complexity and depth that elevate this film far above the average coming of age on the job procedural.
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on April 15, 2008
Although we are used to seeing Denzel cast in heroic "good guy" roles, his portrayal of a corrupt narcotics officer brings forth one of his finest acting performances. As many other reviewers have already stated quite well, the chemistry between Denzel and Ethan Hawk who plays a "Newbie" cop trying to make it into the unit run by Alonzo Harris (Denzel's character) is captivating from the start of the day when the two meet over breakfast.

Being one of my favorite movies, when I saw it had been released on Blu-Ray, I had to buy it again. I am very glad that I did. The Blu-Ray version gives an added dimension to Antoine Fuqua's views of LA's streets, and brings them to life as if you are ridding with them in Denzel's Malibu - as he says "You're in the office, baby." Blu-ray brings the environments into focus with as much passion and detail as Antoine put into his directing - you can almost smell the rain-soaked streets and feel the pulse of the city. If you'd like to experience a "real-life, close-up tour of LA" as you watch a truly deserving Academy Award winning film, I recommend you buy the Blu-Ray version - it will not disapoint.
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on November 21, 2017
Edgy performance by Denzel Washington, articulates the thin line between "honest & dishonest" police work in drug & gang interaction.
A good bit of detail about the inner workings of police work in today's crime culture.
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