Monday, October 8, 2001 Volume 67, Issue 33


Washington handles Hawke in 'Training Day'

Training Day
Starring Denzel Washington, Ethan Hawke
4 stars
Warner Bros.
Rated R

By Koroush Ghanean
Daily Cougar Staff

There aren't many actors who can play a noble Academy Award-nominated role in one movie and play the total opposite in another. 

Darren Michaels/Columbia Pictures

Ethan Hawke stars opposite Denzel Washington in the film Training Day. Hawke plays a neophyte cop who wishes to become a detective in the Los
Angeles Police Department.

In fact, there are probably only two in modern times. Mel Gibson is one -- Denzel Washington is the other.

Washington's latest foray into the movie world is Training Day, a police thriller also starring Ethan Hawke.

In Training Day, we see a side of Washington that we haven't seen in a long time. 

A side that is generally absent from his Oscar nominated movies. 

A side where he not only kicks butt but, oh yeah, he chews gum too.

The story involves Hawke's character, Jake Hoyt's, first day on the job as an inner city Los Angeles narcotics cop. 

At that job he meets with Washington, who plays his boss, Alonzo Harris. 

Hoyt has 24 hours to convince Alonzo he has the cajones to be the newest member of Alonzo's team. 

That is a task that not even Hoyt is up for.

In the first few minutes that Hoyt is with Alonzo, Alonzo gets him to try PCP and marijuana in his pimped out Monte Carlo.

Now generally we don't see Denzel do these kind of things in his other movies, which have him playing the noble indiscriminate guy. 

This movie wasn't made for an Oscar, this movie was made for fun.

Alonzo is the modern day equivalent to Scarface, except for one thing, Scarface was the hero in his movie, Alonzo is not. 

At times he is worse than the criminals he is supposed to be catching -- from robbing one drug dealer to murdering another. 

Alonzo is so bad that not even the drug dealers want to shake his hand.

Hoyt finds himself deeper in the dirt that is the narcotics department, which happens to have a cameo of Dr. Dre as one of the dirty cops under Alonzo.

Hawke plays his part well, making what would be a dull role into something that the audience can almost relate to. I say that because I doubt there are a lot
of narcotics cops out there watching this movie.

However, this is Washington's movie. 

He electrifies every scene that he is in and gives the characters an undeniable charisma.

Although he plays a murderer, thief and backstabber, he still shows control and is just plain cool throughout the whole movie.

The movie's climax is the fist-fight between Hoyt and Alonzo, a fist fight that the director catches perfectly. 

The fight is classic in the sense of old Hollywood westerns.

There is no kung fu, or karate, just two men duking it out with each other, slamming each other through windows and cars. 

It is really cool to watch because both actors play their parts so well.

Training Day might not win Washington an Oscar, but it is sure to please anyone going to watch it. 

A cool movie with a plot that twists around enough to keep everyone interested, but not lost.

Definitely worth the seven bucks the tickets will cost you.

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