TRAINING DAY gives Denzel Washington the chance to act his butt off, and that he does in this vile, irreprehensible film. Washington won an Oscar for his role as Alonzo, a cop gone very, very bad. Taking the stance that to fight crime, one has to be a criminal, Washington takes us through the paces of a dirty cop who will do anything to achieve his own personal agenda. What he does to the Sandman is bad enough, but how he sets up his new rookie partner, is abyssmal and out and out vile! Ethan Hawke is exceedingly good in a role that netted him an oscar nomination as the new rookie who would do anything for his new boss to assure his chances of getting detective ranking. However, as his training day goes on, Hawke realizes just how corrupt his boss is.
The film is slow in the beginning, and by the time it picks up its pace, all I wanted was to see Washington go down. Tom Berenger, Harris Yulin and Raymond J. Barry are wasted in their roles, but in the extras, we get a deleted scene that really shows what their purpose in the film was. Why it was taken out is a mystery to me. The politically correct usage of rappers Dr. Dre & Snoop Dogg and the singer Macy Gray continue to show what's wrong with movies these days: go for the youth market, even though the three above mentioned performers are not actors, and they are only used to up the box office potential.
All in all, this is not what one could call an entertaining movie...it's worth lies in the searing performances of Washington and Hawke. Just once, too, wouldn't it be nice to see the corrupted cop be revealed to the public for what he was? No, again, we find Washington's death (spoiler here? Not really) eulogied as a good cop going down while trying to serve a high risk warrant. Cover up cover up.....makes one wonder if there's any cop we can trust? Come on, movie makers, let's show these guys for what they really are, not beautify their deaths. Especially when those deaths were justified!!!!!