Jamie Kennedy's favorite movie review site
Home Reviews  Articles  Release Dates Coming Soon  DVD  Top 20s Criticwatch  Search
Public Forums  Festival Coverage  Contests About 

Overall Rating

Awesome: 26.63%
Worth A Look29.89%
Just Average: 20.11%
Pretty Crappy: 12.5%
Sucks: 10.87%

11 reviews, 118 user ratings

Latest Reviews

Miss Fisher and the Crypt of Tears by Jay Seaver

Dealer/Healer by Jay Seaver

City Without Baseball by Jay Seaver

Invisible Man, The (2020) by Rob Gonsalves

Hunt, The (2020) by Rob Gonsalves

Da 5 Bloods by Rob Gonsalves

Hamilton by Peter Sobczynski

Outpost, The by Peter Sobczynski

Audition, The by Jay Seaver

Sometimes Always Never by Jay Seaver

subscribe to this feed

Training Day
[AllPosters.com] Buy posters from this movie
by Rob Gonsalves

"Denzel gets down and dirty, but the movie is nothing new."
3 stars

The tagline of "Training Day" is "The only thing more dangerous than the line being crossed is the cop who will cross it." To this we might add: The only thing more annoying than a dark, cynical pose being affected is the Hollywood thriller that will shy away from it at the end.

Training Day spends much of its running time telling us, in wised-up, street-smart tones, that you have to become a wolf to catch a wolf; whatever disreputable charge it carries derives from this down-and-dirty outlook, so when the movie backtracks and says a wolf who catches other wolves is still a wolf, it ends up not meaning much. Either go all the way, or don't go there.

Veteran L.A. narc Alonzo Harris (Denzel Washington) is the author of the wolf metaphor, among many others. Alonzo sees himself as a hard-bitten combat veteran who long ago lost any ideals or illusions about human nature. Rookie cop Jake Hoyt (Ethan Hawke) is assigned to train under Alonzo's supervision, ostensibly to prove he has the right stuff to serve in Alonzo's unit. Like all fresh-faced rookies, Jake has been given a warm and beautiful wife and baby daughter, as if we wouldn't care about the fate of a single, childless cop.

Jake rides around the hellholes of L.A. with Alonzo, who relishes giving the new white boy a guided tour of places white boys aren't welcome. For a while, David Ayers' script toys with the notion that Alonzo is the kind of shady-ethics cop that's needed to get the job done; and if this were a more serious movie, we might be given to think about how the brutal demands of the job might turn some cops into monsters battling with monsters (while other officers retain their essential decency). The movie could've been about what kind of person becomes a bad cop and what kind stays clean, or at least settles for doing no harm.

But this isn't a serious movie, despite Denzel Washington in full eruption and giving his calloused lines more weight and authority than they deserve. Denzel Washington is this movie -- it's his anti-star vehicle, his chance to stretch his legs in a compelling rare unsympathetic turn. To defuse charges of racism, the movie carefully includes its share of corrupt white officers, lurking in shadows in a restaurant and casually talking about executing a criminal who hoodwinked the court system (the scene could've been lifted whole and breathing from The Star Chamber, in which a group of frustrated judges banded together for vengeance). But essentially Training Day is about a noble white man against a corrupt black man.

The movie plays at realism; it plays at a lot of things. But eventually Hollywood takes over -- the last act is particularly shameful in this regard, and poor Ethan Hawke (who tries hard, but is miscast) takes so much punishment that you begin to wonder if his character should headline the sequel to Unbreakable. (He bleeds a lot, but he suffers about ten separate mishaps that should have put him in the hospital.) Director Antoine Fuqua, who previously distinguished himself by making a bad Chow Yun-Fat thriller (The Replacement Killers), opts for a brand of rock-video flash slightly different from that film; this time, what he's selling is the dark and dangerous energy of the street, but he's still in the selling business.

Watching Training Day, I kept remembering a better thriller about a weary black cop, his eager white partner, and their contrasting ideologies -- Seven, whose ending was about as bleak as you can imagine, but which did not send me off vaguely depressed and feeling manipulated. Perhaps it's because in that film, the war of ideas meant something, and so did the price paid for it.

Here, what you get is a two-hour wallow that invites you to accept it as the real world, only to turn on a dime into the fake Hollywood world.

link directly to this review at https://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=4753&reviewer=416
originally posted: 12/26/06 23:41:17
[printer] printer-friendly format  

User Comments

1/12/19 Anne fighting looked fake yet I liked the film; evil loses 3 stars
2/20/17 morris campbell good bad cop good cop movie 4 stars
10/29/13 The Big D Stink, Stank, Stunk! Tries so hard to be street tough that it comes off as fakey! 1 stars
11/23/10 Jeff Wilder Standard issue good/bad cop. But Washington's performance alone makes it worth seeing. 4 stars
7/12/09 JR Denzel as evil rabid cop? Ooooo. Oscar...Gimmee Gimmee!! 2 stars
11/08/08 Grant Amazing...Fuck the haters 5 stars
8/18/08 Shaun Wallner Awesome storyline! 5 stars
3/07/08 Pamela White crafty corrupt cop with twisted ending 4 stars
3/02/08 ladavies Denzels's best performance to date. He makes a scary bad guy. 5 stars
5/27/07 Double M King Kong ain't got shit on Denzel.. 5 stars
3/21/07 JJ A film to think about, terrific performances from both lead roles 5 stars
1/01/07 kitfo plot holes and unnecessary fight scene mar what would otherwise be a great film. 4 stars
12/02/06 David Pollastrini a bit slow in places but still good 4 stars
11/14/06 Charles R.L.Power Depressingly stupid, unconvincing -- this got Denzel his Oscar? 1 stars
7/14/06 Anthony G Good film, denzel can play a thug nig pretty well. 4 stars
5/15/06 bmac great movie by the best ever (denzel) period 5 stars
4/12/06 KK it wasn't that bad! 4 stars
10/06/05 Wisamane Only people with good tastes for movies will like this one. I thought it was Incredible 5 stars
8/22/05 ES Fun, nothing you could believe was the real 'mean streets' but a decent flick 4 stars
7/26/05 Indrid Cold This is the electrifying Denzel everybody loves. Plot and other characters are just decent. 4 stars
12/27/04 mjoc Overrated formula film 3 stars
12/08/04 Kristina Williams good movie but I was waiting for it to fucking END! 4 stars
11/19/04 blah fuck off 3 stars
11/19/04 Bobby Lynn one of my favorites 5 stars
9/06/04 Nadine Arango Any 1 from the streets knows this is real 4 anyone who isn't this is the closest you'll get 5 stars
8/02/04 Anthony G spank my ass and call me a bitch 1 stars
4/13/04 Gobsmack Fascinating and brilliant. Denzel deserves 2 Oscars. 5 stars
4/13/04 beem put ya hands on ya chest! 5 stars
4/03/04 R.W. Welch Far-fetched bad cop flick is salvaged by top drawer performances all round. 4 stars
3/29/04 y2mckay Formulaic and contrived at times, but still intense. Denzel was as good as the hype. 4 stars
2/21/04 Denise Duspiva Not as good as they say 3 stars
1/20/04 tatum Expert direction, but the film gets tedious and unbelievable as it progresses 3 stars
1/19/04 hjrjkkl Somewhat predictable, but riveting nevertheless. 4 stars
1/07/04 A F Denzel ain't got shit on King Kong. 4 stars
10/01/03 Jinnvisible hollywood found the formula again ? never had it first place..well acted /directed 4 stars
9/21/03 kill quacky i bet you enjoy watching your mom and dad fuck when your under the bed 5 stars
8/18/03 AD liked it but got farfeted 5 stars
7/15/03 Rose Joslin Powerful performance by Denzel Washington, excellent flick! 5 stars
6/26/03 cochese Denzel won an OSCAR for this? Children, can you say "racially motivated", I knew you could. 2 stars
5/31/03 francis Plot deficiencies and I find Mr Hawke unsuitable for this type of role 3 stars
5/26/03 Andrew One of the best movies I've seen in awhile. 5 stars
5/11/03 Jack Bourbon Awesome pop movie. Hawke's first non-embarassment, and Denzel was great. 5 stars
4/30/03 Andrew Carden Hawke Is Good, but The Film Is So Far-Fetched and Blah... 2 stars
4/16/03 charlene henderson good movie 5 stars
4/09/03 Ash This movie sucks 1 stars
3/22/03 Dave This is wank. I've seen more convincing performances from the Power Rangers than Denzel. 1 stars
2/13/03 Sean Horan The ending, IMHO, was not justified, but the rest of the movie is definitely worth watching 4 stars
2/08/03 Jake Mikyre The mexicans let him live out of respect...its a known fact 5 stars
2/04/03 Go Denzel Denzel Washington's performance is amazing, and worth renting the movie for. Entertaining. 4 stars
1/22/03 Monster W. Kung A very good thriller, with a somewhat disappointing ending. 4 stars
1/12/03 Goofy Maxwell Alonzo vs. King Kong: Kong made 'em wring their hands, 'Zo makes 'em sh** their pants. 4 stars
12/12/02 and bullshit its a good movie 4 stars
11/07/02 bishop you fuckers wouldn't notice a great movie if it shot you in the ass. 5 stars
11/07/02 The Talking Elbow Fantastic movie of good vs. evil. Ethans char is a poor schmuck with a whole lot of valor. 5 stars
10/23/02 Jim Washington vs. Hawke ... should be an overmatch, but isn't. 4 stars
8/23/02 Sully can't figure out what everyone is complaining about...killer flick, top-notch acting... 5 stars
8/03/02 Edler Thought that I'd hate it, but it was awesome! 5 stars
7/23/02 plop great 5 stars
7/22/02 ! sdjfsdkjf denzel didnt really wreck it... He won an oscar with it........... 4 stars
7/20/02 sdjfsdkjf what a pile of horseshit. Denzel yet again manages to wreck another film. Boooooring! 1 stars
7/09/02 Bada Bing Crosby YAY! He can overact like his white counterparts, lets over-react w/an Oscar? What shite 1 stars
5/20/02 Phil M. Aficiando First 1/3 good; middle average; by the end, a dud, dude. Pointless pap. 2 stars
4/30/02 Phoenix Terrific action entertainment. Denzel was the shit. 5 stars
4/10/02 George Partington Boring, boring, boring. Denzel bad. Ethan good. Even one interesting idea woulda been nice. 2 stars
4/08/02 special K average, nothing new. certainly not oscar-worthy 3 stars
4/07/02 stoolie-bird that jeff lecky dude sums it up perfect.... 2 stars
4/07/02 Jeff Lecky Saw it twice, the 2nd time because I forgot I saw it... nothing special here! 1 stars
4/07/02 lauren mccreight simply a collection of scenes from much better cop movies.....been there done that.... 3 stars
4/06/02 Dave MacDougall nothing new here...so average it hurts... 2 stars
4/02/02 Mo Anand Denzel and Ethan give strong performances, however the story gets a little weird. 4 stars
3/30/02 Film Guy BOOM 5 stars
3/29/02 Butterbean Denzel should have won for MalcomX. He annoyingly overacts here. 3 stars
3/28/02 Denzel Washingotn fan in mourning Denzel should have rejected role and not robbed better amd more important acting of Oscar! 2 stars
3/27/02 Spyguy2 Better than expected, Great DW performance, overkill ending overstayed it's welcome 4 stars
3/26/02 FrayLo word, ...a dark movie, but quite entertaining 5 stars
3/26/02 Incubator It`s all about russians 4 stars
3/26/02 Girl 9 Just awesome 5 stars
3/25/02 Paco My nigga 5 stars
3/25/02 Jessica Davis (fan of Denzel Washington when he's good) Washington's worst role ever - braindead selection over Penn Crowe or Smith. MPAA EATS SHIT 1 stars
3/25/02 Natalie Stonecipher Excellent adtor Denzel Washington really hast be motherfuckin' bad to win an Oscar! 1 stars
3/22/02 The Bomb 69 a bit overrated but the performances were above the storyline 4 stars
3/13/02 Janus the Anus Not terribly original, but well-made. Denzel and Ethan both performed well. I enjoyed it. 4 stars
3/08/02 Ozmy Zuniga Denzel Washington is the man!!!!! 5 stars
3/06/02 Art Wright I can't believe some of the negative comments-this jammie was Fuckin' On! 5 stars
2/16/02 malcolm denzel -- incredible as usual. not your father's cop movie 4 stars
1/19/02 stryper rocks lots of mindless violence 3 stars
1/15/02 David A. Stink, Stank, Stunk!!! 1 stars
1/05/02 The Man Tense, awesome. One of Denzel's best performances. Only end slightly unbelievable 5 stars
12/12/01 Jason Szabo Action packed, with great acting from Washington and Hawke 4 stars
12/11/01 Jimbo Disappointing despite Den's effort. Good cop/Bad cop thing os too predictable. 3 stars
12/06/01 Tanya Predictable and misogynistic - female characters were poorly written props for the men 2 stars
11/16/01 Riza very good!!!! lots of action 5 stars
11/14/01 j man denzel was great 5 stars
11/11/01 Tyrone Knight I loved it!! Denzel's part was electrifying enough to make the movie shine 5 stars
11/11/01 gavel not having seen the movie i already know that this will be avaerage with Denzel striving tr 2 stars
11/09/01 jawsboy pretty fuckin awesome with only a couple of bad scenes. great performances and direction. 4 stars
11/01/01 Gay Tooth Fairy Great fucking acting Denzel. 5 stars
10/31/01 kelly it was good 5 stars
10/31/01 Obi Wan Denzel did his thing as always, but the flick was too predictable and very generic! 3 stars
10/27/01 Fish Eye Denzel is awesome. But the ending was a little forced. Still a good movie though. 4 stars
10/25/01 derek deems not bad, but a few key moments destroy what the film works an hour and a half to build 4 stars
10/23/01 spaceworm A real shame that half way through they welded a plot on this promising character study. 3 stars
10/21/01 Gary Hawkins Compelling peice. Crisply depicted and so so real. 5 stars
10/21/01 Bil Jee Very stupid plot; Denzel over the top. Why would his char expose everything to a newbie? 1 stars
10/17/01 Carlos Mohammed Hard core along the lines of Boyz n' The Hood, New Jack City, and Menace To Society. 5 stars
10/15/01 Del I thought it was good...Denzel was amazing as usual. Snoop Dogg had a surprising role. 4 stars
10/15/01 Jeff Semlow Denzel gives the best performance of the year. He may have been over the top, but still ve 5 stars
10/15/01 malcolm good to see Denzel do something else besides the smooth charmer 4 stars
10/14/01 Schmidty72 The best performance of Denzel's career. 5 stars
10/14/01 Geebo An amazing film. Extremely intense and well-acted by both of the stars. 5 stars
10/13/01 Shaun L Harris Realisticly Unsettling and Intense 5 stars
10/11/01 Eth'mae Not a slow moment. Intense and well acted. 4 stars
10/07/01 Axe Murderer too violent?............you too weak yowza....go watch spy kids or domething 4 stars
10/06/01 Yowza Too violent, story weak, way too bleak for my liking. Great acting, but still depressing. 2 stars
Note: Duplicate, 'planted,' or other obviously improper comments
will be deleted at our discretion. So don't bother posting 'em. Thanks!
Your Name:
Your Comments:
Your Location: (state/province/country)
Your Rating:

Discuss this movie in our forum

  05-Oct-2001 (R)



Directed by
  Antoine Fuqua

Written by
  David Ayer

  Denzel Washington
  Ethan Hawke
  Tom Berenger
  Snoop Dogg
  Dr. Dre
  Scott Glenn

Home Reviews  Articles  Release Dates Coming Soon  DVD  Top 20s Criticwatch  Search
Public Forums  Festival Coverage  Contests About 
Privacy Policy | | HBS Inc. |   
All data and site design copyright 1997-2017, HBS Entertainment, Inc.
Search for
reviews features movie title writer/director/cast