Training Day – review

Gawky white-boy cop goes for a ride along, ends the day a little less gawky, and white. His superior is Denzel Washington’s Alonzo, a bad man so bad he’s too bad even for the streets — a self-styled wolf who uses his badge to wield power over criminals impotent and dangerous alike that’s less ambiguously amoral, more categorically diabolical. There is a moment the final act crosses into the theatrical, and if I linger on the specifics of it I start to question how satisfying it was. This doubt then crept into my thoughts on the wider substance of the film, were its power politics as smart as they had seemed at the time? Had I been sucked in by some cinematic trickery? Eventually realising I didn’t care if I had been. In the moment it made sense. Washington’s performance is compelling, the narrative strings together the events of the day’s ride into a plot you can buy, and director Antoine Fuqua maintains a sure-grip on the action throughout. All should be sufficient to mollify those lingering uncertainties.

A-

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