If you view the police the same way after seeing this movie, then you probably had a pessimistic view of them before watching it.
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.
– 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
Next up, STAR TREK NEMESIS.