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Training Day

Starring: Denzel Washington, Ethan Hawke, Scott Glenn, Tom Berenger, and a wee bit of Snoop Doggy Dogg
Directed by: Antoine Fuqua
Rated: R


Denzel is dynamite! Denzel Washington is pure hydraulics; non yielding and unrelenting in his portrayal of narcotics officer Alonzo Harris. Ethan Hawke's signature wide-eyed innocence below a scraggy goatee-cloaked façade worked in symphony with his Valley Cop hits the Hood detail role of Jake Hoyt.

Officer Jake Hoyt (Ethan Hawke) wants a better life for his growing family, and to help rid the streets of drugs and perps. This means he has to make detective. Jake knows the fastest way to detective, and better income, is via the narcotics division. Eighteen months of down and dirty street policing (no pun intended) and Jake's a regulation shoe-in for the position. Especially if he can last with the legendary Alonzo Harris--narcotic cop extraordinaire.

Training Day brings us to Jake's first day on the LAPD Narcotic Force LAPD. He's meeting his mentor in-waiting Alonzo (Denzel--aging like a fine merlot-- Washington) for breakfast and then out to the streets for a bit of training. It's gonna be a hell of a first day!

Alonzo's a bit gonzo. He's in with all the drug dealers; he has to be to do his job right. He's talking wolves and sheep, howling as he sucks down a few brewski's while cruising for bad guys. Alonzo's also into some pretty shading dealings and Jake starts to wonder if his new partners antics are even a by-line in the officer's manual. There's a big bust going down but who's busting who and what's their motive?

Jake starts to wish he was still pedaling parking tickets back in the cozy gang-free-SUV powered-Starbuck slurping suburban anti-ghetto he called home. This is no walk in Echo Park at high noon.

Denzel Washington is one fine looking man. A chocolate smorgasbord of talent and yummy bits. Mmmm. He's always a treat to watch and not just for his immense...acting ability!

It's nice to see dear Ethan back upon the screen. He burst on then went away and started breeding (Uma "even a kid won't ruin my shape!" Thurman calls him daddy man). Ethie's no flash to be quickly forgotten mind you. He's something of a genius. Novelist, musician of many instruments and even speak a few languages...fluently. Uma's a smart chickbabe huh? Of course Ethan still looks like he's about twenty, but if you check out around the eyes during the super dramatic close-ups you can see those baby-wakes -me- up-constantly- crows- feet- of the- thirties etching into the handsome lad's face.

Training Day is gripping from the moment Denzel and Ethan share the screen. The hip-hop oh-so-popular soundtrack keeps the mood dark and slithering. The cast members along with the two stellar performances by Hawke and Washington will have you trading in your Los Angeles Weekend for little fluffier fare like, Burlington Vermont. Like any city, in LA crime and underworld mix well with the pole-lease. Training Day slaps you upside the head with its violence and brutal honesty. If you like cop stories with balls run and see this, if Starsky and Hutch gave you nose bleeds from fear...go see Bandits you'll be much better off.

Snack recommendation: Scotch and Salvadorian delicacies.


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