Training Day is not a movie you watch if you’re looking for a relaxing film experience. The protagonist through whom we’re introduced to the world in which everything takes place is Jake (Ethan Hawke). Since Jake is comfortable at no point in Training Day, you absolutely won’t be either.
With that important truth out of the way, Training Day is a movie worthy of your time. Not just because of the undeniable talent both in front and behind the camera, it’s a well written crime thriller that will likely leave you grateful that you get to experience the world of the characters only a screen.
David Ayer (Suicide Squad – 2016) is responsible for the screenplay Antoine Fuqua (The Magnificent Seven – 2016) directs. I’m convincedthat Denzel Washington and Ethan Hawke could not have played their roles any better. Perhaps even more than the great performances, it’s the way the story comes together that I love most. From the effective shooting style to the way events unfold overall, I had an uncomfortable (in a good way) yet positive experience.
If I had to pick something that maybe could haveimproved my experience, I’d point to the musical score which left me a little wanting. By no means is it as awkward as the score for John Q (2002), but awkward is a word that fits – in parts.
Watch Training Day for some Denzel Washington / Ethan Hawke magic and for the smart way everything comes together. Would I call Training Day my favourite buddy cop movie? It’s close but I think End Of Watch (2012) still has that title.
Antoine Fuqua is the man in the director’s seat for Southpaw, the movie where Jake Gyllenhaal stars as Billy Hope, a successful boxer seeking redemption after an unbearable tragedy derails his life completely.
Gyllenhaal’s physical transformation is noticeably impressive but it comes second to everything he manages to achieve with his character’s emotional journey.
As you watch the movie, you may find yourself cursing testosterone for being the cause of at least one of the bad things that happens to Hope. However, what seems like an absence of good sense likely also plays a large part.
Overall, there’s nothing particularly surprising or refreshingly new in Southpaw. Though there is one key aspect of the plot that would have been a great surprise – had it not been revealed in the trailer months prior.
Watch Southpaw because you like the filmmaking team and you’re curious about the movie’s exploration of redemption, regret, second chances, starting over and of course, the sport of boxing.
Forrest Whitaker, Naomie Harris and Rachel McAdams also star.
Director Antoine Fuqua and Denzel Washington’s The Equalizer makes me think of Taken (2008) and Taxi Driver (1976). It’s unsurprising since all three films feature young girls who end up in very unfortunate predicaments, but luckily for them, an individual takes it upon themselves to do everything they can to make things right.
I love stories like this because not many who find themselves in such precarious situations are as lucky. Seeing ‘baddie’s’ get what they deserve is always fun to watch. I mean, I can’t even begin to tell you how happy I was at the end of Bryan De Palma’s Carrie (1976). 🙂
If you’re familiar with Washington, let’s face it, there a few who aren’t, then you know you’re in for a fun ride. Laced with action, good dialogue and Denzel style ‘badassery,’ The Equalizer will keep you entertained.
One of the most memorable moments for me is the swift move with the gun at Pushkin’s warehouse. It’s so very quick but certainly just as impressive each time I hit the replay button. I also love the music that starts at approximately 1 hour 45 minutes.