I love Denzel Washington! Great performer and actor, has a fantastic stage presence. “Remember the Titans”, “Malcolm X”, “Philadelphia”, the list goes on and on and then there was “Training Day”. Whoa…what a performance, Academy award, Best Actor. But wait a minute, he plays a bad guy, rogue cop!, would I want to see this movie again….any other Denzel movie…I will watch it again, again and again, alright you get my drift, I just love him too much. Training Day? not a chance…..it was too creepy. Denzel takes on a role which perhaps was tailor made for him. He is probably one of the most decent Hollywood types. but I doubt if any one could play the part of “Alonzo Harris” so convincingly. He did it so well that it gives you the chills. An accredited film personality like Ethan Hawke looks like an after thought in that movie.
Released in 2001,setting is the most infamous neighborhoods of Los Angeles, California, shot in notoriously dangerous housing projects. The movie follows a single day in the life of a young cop Jake Hoyt (Ethan Hawke) as he is subject to a day evaluation by Alonzo Harris, a highly decorated LAPD police narcotics officer, to see if he has what it takes to be a “Narc”.
Alonzo as it appears has sold his soul to the devil and does not care a damn about anyone including the rookie. He is all about himself and saving his ass. He is ruthless and all he cares about that day is to figure out a way to pay off the Russian mob who he owes a million dollars in gambling debt. Jake on the other hand is an honest cop excited about his first day as a “narc”. Alonzo insists on indulging him in activities that are unpolice like and uses it against him at a later stage.
Alonzo is also this narcissistic individual who is banging a stunning Eva Mendes, and is the self proclaimed king of the Ghetto. He and the other corrupt co- officers stages this fake sting operation and steals stashes of money from a dealer which is supposed to be used to pay off the Mob. Jake takes on Alonzo, almost gets killed and eventually tames him into submission and even the ghetto dwellers who once feared him turns against him.
The last few minutes is kinda unreal as the bad guy is gunned down execution style by the people who he owes money. A good story which got mangled in the end. Ethan Hawke delivers but in the presence of Denzel, he is simply a shadow. Eva Mendes is gorgeous. Denzel we bow before thee, we are simply not worthy. Will I watch this movie again?….maybe, with one eyes closed . I say see it….but tell the kids to stay away!.
*Originally posted at passionforcinema.com/cletterman*