Training Day [FQ13 Review 8]


If you view the police the same way after seeing this movie, then you probably had a pessimistic view of them before watching it.

Training Day

Why I Saw It: It’s all part of the “see a lot of movies which got Academy Award nominations for one aspect or another” plan for Film Quest 2013. Sure, it was just a Supporting Actor nomination for Ethan Hawke and a Best Actor win for Denzel Washington, but given the discussion of whether Denzel should have won for this (or whether he was getting it because he should have won for prior roles), it made for an interesting watch from that perspective as well. In the past six months, I’ve seen two other law enforcement-related films written by David Ayer (End Of Watch and Harsh Times), so I wanted to round out my perspective with arguably his most popular film.

What Was It About?  “On his first day on the job as a narcotics officer, a rookie cop works with a rogue detective who isn’t what he appears..

Rating: 8.5 out of 10

Memorable Performances: This was easily the best work I’ve seen from Ethan Hawke. While it’s a strong performance from Denzel Washington that I’ll always remember, I wouldn’t call it his best.

Potential Nominations for Film Quest ’13:  

  • Best Actor – Denzel Washington
  • Best Supporting Actor – Ethan Hawke

Favorite Parts: I really liked all the ways they established a clear difference between Ethan Hawke’s character and that of Denzel Washington, and then had the consequences of each show up later in the film.

The Regrettable Aspects: The scene where Denzel Washington and his crew raid Roger’s house should have been better executed. I had to watch the scene three times and go back and watch the earlier scene to verify that it’s the same guy’s house from both scenes. Also, not enough from Eva Mendes, whose character was actually interesting enough to warrant a few more scenes.

Would I watch it again? Because it was an intense film and didn’t have high entertainment value, I probably wouldn’t seek out another viewing anytime soon, but if someone else wanted to watch it, I’d be up for another viewing.

To Whom Would I Recommend It?  To anyone who likes gritty films which blur the lines between right and wrong.

Other Recommendations:

End Of Watch – essentially the same world, just different jobs within law enforcement

Harsh Times – if you’re going to be seeing End Of Watch AND Training Day, you may as well see the third of David Ayer’s films

The Change of Pace Options: Naked Gun films; Police Academy – just in case you get jaded about law enforcement or need something to lighten the mood, those two series have the cure


4 responses to “Training Day [FQ13 Review 8]

  1. Hawke and Washington are both great and elevate this relatively, conventional material to new and improved heights. That ending also grabs you by the balls and never lets you go. Solid review man.

    • Thanks for the comment! I was really thinking that the ending would go a different route than it did, but I really liked how they had the neighborhood folks respond to Hawke and Washington at that point. And then the final part made sense, given what had happened.

  2. I thought this one was pretty intense and well done. I have not watched this in a few years but I still recall Denzel being a bad ass and I liked his Jesus Pieces.
    End of Watch had super realistic dialogue which I really dug.

    • They were both great films, no doubt about it! The dialogue was probably one of the best parts of End Of Watch, and that’s saying something! I’m just disappointed that it took me this long to actually see Training Day!

      Thanks for the comment!

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