Monday, 13 April 2015

Review: Training Day

I can't believe I haven't seen…

Training Day Poster

Training Day (2001)
Cert: 18 / 117 mins / Dir. Antoine Fuqua / Trailer
WoB Rating: 4/7

Antoine Fuqua's 2001 corrupt-cop-thriller is another film which has earned its place on the #ICBIHS list, as have many others, by virtue of people recommending it to me over the course of several years, but which I've never got round to investigating since it looked to me like a bog-standard late-night BBC1 thriller movie.

And once again I'm slightly disheartened to say that my initial assessment was apparently correct. Training Day is 'a good film', but I found little special about it. I imagine this is because the film was making genuine cinematic strides in 2001, and has paved the way for countless imitators. The problem is that I've seen a hell of a lot of the imitators before watching the original, and while the film-making itself stands the test of time, it does so as an archival piece.

It also doesn't help that writer David Ayer leads the screenplay with two deeply unlikeable characters (one is fine, but both?), surrounded by deeply unlikeable associates. It really is difficult to want the protagonist to succeed when you'd happily see him murdered by street gangs, if only to stop him whining for the rest of the film.

But Denzel Washington gives a performance with more energy than I've seen from him in recent years, and Ethan Hawke holds his own against DW's scene-stealing. Fuqua is a sturdy director, but Ayer's writing was more focussed in End Of Watch. It's just a shame everyone's fine efforts didn't combine to make something more long-lasting.

I wanted to enjoy Training Day more, but the film wouldn't let me.
And not in a cool, challenging way.

Have you really never seen this before?
Nope, really not.

So are you glad you've finally have?
Glad I can tell people 'yes, I've seen it', if that counts.

And would you recommend it, now?
I wouldn't not recommend it.

Oh, and is there a Wilhelm Scream in it?
Not that I heard.

…but what's the Star Wars connection?
Denzel Washington starred in 1993's cinematic adaptation of Much Ado About Nothing, as did Brian 'Boss Nass' Blessed.

And if I HAD to put a number on it…

• ^^^ That's dry, British humour, and most likely sarcasm or facetiousness.
• Yen's blog contains harsh language and even harsher notions of propriety. Reader discretion is advised.
• This is a personal blog. The views and opinions expressed here represent my own thoughts (at the time of writing) and not those of the people, institutions or organisations that I may or may not be related with unless stated explicitly.

No comments:

Post a Comment