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Overall Rating
3.49

Awesome: 26.78%
Worth A Look30.05%
Average: 19.67%
Pretty Bad: 12.57%
Total Crap: 10.93%

11 reviews, 117 user ratings


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Training Day
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by Slyder

"An interesting premise that shoots itself in the foot"
3 stars

I can’t believe this, I just can’t believe that such a promising movie would just turn over its head and betray its audience in such a way that this movie did. Thought it was very well crafted by Antoine Fuqua and contained excellent performances by Denzel Washington and (to a lesser degree, but not by much) Ethan Hawke, I was very thoroughly disappointed and pissed off by such cheap cinematic manipulation of a plot twist in the final third act of the movie that whatever build-up to a possibly more solid ending just crumbled to the ground.

Jake Hoyt (Ethan Hawke) is a recently enrolled narcotics officer for the LAPD, and is going into his training day by hooking up with legendary narcotics detective Alonzo Harris (Denzel Washington). Hoyt has one day to learn what he can from Harris so he can be fit and ready for the streets. Harris starts teaching him about “living and breathing the streets, and if he doesn’t do it, he’s dead,” and incites Hoyt to even smoke PCP, and beat up suspects, further testing him to see how far can he go when it comes to upholding the law and corruption and police brutality.

Seriously, this film was going places. Rather than just sit back and step on the gas right down into the cliché/formula territory of buddy cop films, Antoine Fuqua took it a step further, showing you certain brutal scenes and asking the viewer to confront the gray area of justice and corruption. It was unlike anything I had seen previously in police dramas, especially when the main characters are cops. Sure there are a few things that were a little bit overreaching, but it didn’t have that much of effect in the movie. The first two thirds of the film are a tour de force of this (also immensely helped by its two leads), and its clear that this film was onto something, charting into a territory where very few films have dared to strive into, questioning ethics, pushing law enforcement to the limit, how far punishment can fit the crime, amongst other things. For me, this film, at least to that point, was proving to itself and the audience that it could stand on its own.

But all that came to a crumbling and shocking end when the final act came. Just as things were actually starting to completely boil to the top thanks to the framed killing of a drug-dealing scumbag and former police officer (Scott Glenn), the film suddenly does a 360 degree angle tangent and crumbles whatever premise the film was actually trying to deliver to its audience and in the process, betraying and practically ripping off what it was once a solid 2/3rd’s of cinematic bravado. For Christ sake, you have to see it to believe it. I mean what the fuck was that? Why fuck up such an almost-great film with such a shitty 3rd act and climax? Hell, it’s just inexcusable, and thanks to this, whatever redeeming factor there is to save this film is just never given the chance and before you know it, the end credits roll up. That third act is just utter bullshit, and it doesn’t do justice to the entire film as a whole, and hell, it almost feels as if screenwriter David Ayer (The Fast and the Furious), just ripped out an ending from one of his other scripts and just pasted it into this screenplay; very, very disappointing. Antoine Fuqua’s direction though is very well executed, and brings out an effective and gritty atmosphere of uneasiness, uncertainty, and suspense, that is just before the pathetic third act.

The performances were important for this film to actually soldier through, Denzel Washington gives another impressive performance, and worthy of it’s Oscar Nomination, but honestly, he was no match for Russell Crowe whom in my opinion, deserved the Oscar that year more than Washington. Ethan Hawke, whom usually is a block of wood, manages to surprise here as he delivers probably his best performance to date, although it isn’t what it was all hyped up to be, needless to say though, it was worthy of mention. The rest of the cast were all right.

In the end, this film is in essence, a noble failure. It would’ve been so much better and it would’ve ended more convincingly than what it ended up as. This film was really going somewhere and even starting to carve a place on its own amongst great films like Lethal Weapon, LA Confidential and The French Connection, but it was never meant to be, despite great pluses from the acting and directing department, and instead it shoots itself in the foot with one of the worst third-acts in history. Such a promise and such a disappointment.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=4753&reviewer=235
originally posted: 12/03/03 13:46:15
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User Comments

2/21/17 morris campbell good bad cop good cop movie 4 stars
10/30/13 The Big D Stink, Stank, Stunk! Tries so hard to be street tough that it comes off as fakey! 1 stars
11/24/10 Jeff Wilder Standard issue good/bad cop. But Washington's performance alone makes it worth seeing. 4 stars
7/13/09 JR Denzel as evil rabid cop? Ooooo. Oscar...Gimmee Gimmee!! 2 stars
11/09/08 Grant Amazing...Fuck the haters 5 stars
8/19/08 Shaun Wallner Awesome storyline! 5 stars
5/28/08 PAUL SHORTT EXTREMELY VIOLENT AND NOT VERY PLAUSIBLE 1 stars
3/08/08 Pamela White crafty corrupt cop with twisted ending 4 stars
3/03/08 ladavies Denzels's best performance to date. He makes a scary bad guy. 5 stars
5/28/07 Double M King Kong ain't got shit on Denzel.. 5 stars
3/22/07 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
12/03/06 David Pollastrini a bit slow in places but still good 4 stars
11/15/06 Charles R.L.Power Depressingly stupid, unconvincing -- this got Denzel his Oscar? 1 stars
7/15/06 Anthony G Good film, denzel can play a thug nig pretty well. 4 stars
5/16/06 bmac great movie by the best ever (denzel) period 5 stars
4/13/06 KK it wasn't that bad! 4 stars
10/07/05 Wisamane Only people with good tastes for movies will like this one. I thought it was Incredible 5 stars
8/23/05 ES Fun, nothing you could believe was the real 'mean streets' but a decent flick 4 stars
7/27/05 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
12/09/04 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
9/07/04 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
8/03/04 Anthony G spank my ass and call me a bitch 1 stars
4/14/04 Gobsmack Fascinating and brilliant. Denzel deserves 2 Oscars. 5 stars
4/14/04 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
3/30/04 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
1/21/04 tatum Expert direction, but the film gets tedious and unbelievable as it progresses 3 stars
1/20/04 hjrjkkl Somewhat predictable, but riveting nevertheless. 4 stars
1/08/04 A F Denzel ain't got shit on King Kong. 4 stars
10/02/03 Jinnvisible hollywood found the formula again ? never had it first place..well acted /directed 4 stars
9/22/03 kill quacky i bet you enjoy watching your mom and dad fuck when your under the bed 5 stars
8/19/03 AD liked it but got farfeted 5 stars
7/16/03 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
6/01/03 francis Plot deficiencies and I find Mr Hawke unsuitable for this type of role 3 stars
5/27/03 Andrew One of the best movies I've seen in awhile. 5 stars
5/12/03 Jack Bourbon Awesome pop movie. Hawke's first non-embarassment, and Denzel was great. 5 stars
5/01/03 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
3/23/03 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
2/05/03 Go Denzel Denzel Washington's performance is amazing, and worth renting the movie for. Entertaining. 4 stars
1/23/03 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
12/13/02 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
8/24/02 Sully can't figure out what everyone is complaining about...killer flick, top-notch acting... 5 stars
8/04/02 KMG DEFINITELY INTERESTING 4 stars
8/04/02 Edler Thought that I'd hate it, but it was awesome! 5 stars
7/23/02 plop great 5 stars
7/23/02 ! sdjfsdkjf denzel didnt really wreck it... He won an oscar with it........... 4 stars
7/21/02 sdjfsdkjf what a pile of horseshit. Denzel yet again manages to wreck another film. Boooooring! 1 stars
7/10/02 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
4/09/02 special K average, nothing new. certainly not oscar-worthy 3 stars
4/08/02 stoolie-bird that jeff lecky dude sums it up perfect.... 2 stars
4/08/02 Jeff Lecky Saw it twice, the 2nd time because I forgot I saw it... nothing special here! 1 stars
4/08/02 lauren mccreight simply a collection of scenes from much better cop movies.....been there done that.... 3 stars
4/07/02 Dave MacDougall nothing new here...so average it hurts... 2 stars
4/03/02 Mo Anand Denzel and Ethan give strong performances, however the story gets a little weird. 4 stars
3/31/02 Film Guy BOOM 5 stars
3/30/02 Butterbean Denzel should have won for MalcomX. He annoyingly overacts here. 3 stars
3/29/02 Denzel Washingotn fan in mourning Denzel should have rejected role and not robbed better amd more important acting of Oscar! 2 stars
3/28/02 Spyguy2 Better than expected, Great DW performance, overkill ending overstayed it's welcome 4 stars
3/27/02 FrayLo word, ...a dark movie, but quite entertaining 5 stars
3/27/02 Incubator It`s all about russians 4 stars
3/27/02 Girl 9 Just awesome 5 stars
3/26/02 Paco My nigga 5 stars
3/26/02 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
3/14/02 Janus the Anus Not terribly original, but well-made. Denzel and Ethan both performed well. I enjoyed it. 4 stars
3/09/02 Ozmy Zuniga Denzel Washington is the man!!!!! 5 stars
3/07/02 Art Wright I can't believe some of the negative comments-this jammie was Fuckin' On! 5 stars
2/17/02 malcolm denzel -- incredible as usual. not your father's cop movie 4 stars
2/14/02 The Flaming Chancehead THIS IS THE WORST FUCKIN' MOVIE IN THE UNIVERSE! ETHAN SHOULD BE SHOT IN THE FACE! 1 stars
1/20/02 stryper rocks lots of mindless violence 3 stars
1/16/02 David A. Stink, Stank, Stunk!!! 1 stars
1/06/02 The Man Tense, awesome. One of Denzel's best performances. Only end slightly unbelievable 5 stars
12/13/01 Jason Szabo Action packed, with great acting from Washington and Hawke 4 stars
12/12/01 Jimbo Disappointing despite Den's effort. Good cop/Bad cop thing os too predictable. 3 stars
12/07/01 Tanya Predictable and misogynistic - female characters were poorly written props for the men 2 stars
11/17/01 Riza very good!!!! lots of action 5 stars
11/15/01 j man denzel was great 5 stars
11/12/01 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
11/10/01 jawsboy pretty fuckin awesome with only a couple of bad scenes. great performances and direction. 4 stars
11/02/01 Gay Tooth Fairy Great fucking acting Denzel. 5 stars
11/01/01 kelly it was good 5 stars
11/01/01 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
10/26/01 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
10/23/01 The Alter Ego DENZEL WASHINGTON IS THE BADDEST MOTHERFUCKER ALIVE!!! 5 stars
10/22/01 Gary Hawkins Compelling peice. Crisply depicted and so so real. 5 stars
10/22/01 Bil Jee Very stupid plot; Denzel over the top. Why would his char expose everything to a newbie? 1 stars
10/18/01 Carlos Mohammed Hard core along the lines of Boyz n' The Hood, New Jack City, and Menace To Society. 5 stars
10/16/01 Del I thought it was good...Denzel was amazing as usual. Snoop Dogg had a surprising role. 4 stars
10/16/01 Jeff Semlow Denzel gives the best performance of the year. He may have been over the top, but still ve 5 stars
10/16/01 malcolm good to see Denzel do something else besides the smooth charmer 4 stars
10/15/01 Schmidty72 The best performance of Denzel's career. 5 stars
10/15/01 Geebo An amazing film. Extremely intense and well-acted by both of the stars. 5 stars
10/14/01 Shaun L Harris Realisticly Unsettling and Intense 5 stars
10/11/01 Eth'mae Not a slow moment. Intense and well acted. 4 stars
10/08/01 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
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  05-Oct-2001 (R)

UK
  N/A

Australia
  15-Nov-2001


Directed by
  Antoine Fuqua

Written by
  David Ayer

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



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