Black Baretta
Training Day
Review by Ross Anthony

Excellent direction, strong script with great dialogue. This picture isn't just a cops and robbers tale, it's a rite of passage film that asks, "What are you really made of?"

Ethan Hawke plays the green rookie cop trying to impress veteran narcotics officer Denzel Washington. Rough, streetwise Washington is more than ready to give Hawke a run for his money during this one trial day on the job. Hawke has the motivation and spirit, but is he willing to get his fingers dirty? Washington waxes Baretta cop lingo as he leads his fledgling comrade deeper and deeper into the reality of the streets.

"In order to protect the sheep ... you've got to go after the wolves. And to get the wolves've got to be a wolf. Are you a wolf or a sheep?"

From the very opening sequence to the gritty end, director Fuqua carries our attentions in the palm of his hands. Keeping us apprehensive and unsure like Hawke himself. Additionally, the two leads, along with all others involved (even the street thugs) deliver strong performances. Which suggests further Kudos to Fuqua.

No lulls, no boring moments; though I'd have gone a different direction with the post-climax resolution. Here the filmmakers miss an excellent opportunity to cap the film off with a tighter nail. Still, enjoyably intense, with a nice climax.

  • Training Day. Copyright © 2001. Rated R.
  • Starring Denzel Washington, Ethan Hawke, Scott Glen, Cliff Curtis, Dr. Dre, Snoop Dog.
  • Directed by Antoine Fuqua.
  • Written by David Ayer.
  • Produced by Jeffrey Silver and Bobby Newmeyer at Warner Bros/Village Road/NPV.


Copyright © 2001. Ross Anthony, currently based in Los Angeles, has scripted and shot documentaries, music videos, and shorts in 35 countries across North America, Europe, Africa and Asia. For more reviews visit:

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Last Modified: Saturday, 16-Sep-2006 07:51:59 PDT