Training Day (2001)
Cert: 18 / 117 mins / Dir. Antoine Fuqua / Trailer
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.
Nope, really not.
Glad I can tell people 'yes, I've seen it', if that counts.
I wouldn't not recommend it.
Not that I heard.
Denzel Washington starred in 1993's cinematic adaptation of Much Ado About Nothing, as did Brian 'Boss Nass' Blessed.
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