Training Day ★★★★

Training Day feels like a studio film from the early 2000s. It has the showy camerawork, the semi-fake looking sets, and a (good) by-the-numbers script. It has its laughable moments in how committed it is to proving it knows the people on the streets of Los Angeles, packing in everything a cop on the streets might witness in a lifetime into a single day. It’s hilariously exaggerated, but I’m willing to accept that’s all part of the ride. What really works is the dynamic between Alonzo and Jake. The pairing of Denzel and Hawke is a lovely match that I would love to see again (outside of that Mag Seven reboot), especially now that Hawke is the prestigious actor that he is. 

Regardless of how absurd the events in the film are, Training Day is more than the sum of its parts. It’s a true classic, and part of it is that it feels very written. Alonzo is a character that could only exist in a script. The way the events unfold are orchestrated perfectly. Not high art, but not just a popcorn movie either. It’s pretty awesome.