Wednesday, January 11, 2006


Well, another day, another instance of avoiding the same title that everyone else uses.

I thought that training day was interesting in that the sidekick ended up becoming the hero and the hero, or at the very lest, mentor figure, became the villain.

Jake (Ethan Hawke) is portrayed as a good, white, by the book kind of cop. It takes a lot of convincing by Alonzo (Denzel Washington) for him to do anything bad at all. Even then he still never becomes comfortable with it. After a while, and escalating infractions on the law, Jake rebels against his mentor and hero figure and in doing so becomes the hero. This earns him the respect of a very bad neighborhood which otherwise might have acted out violently against him.

Alonzo however, is portrayed as a black cop who seems to know everything, but has a short temper and seems to be on a constant power trip. He thinks that he knows whats best for everyone, but in reality the people around him are just nice to him because he is a cop. No one really likes Alonzo except maybe Roger the drug dealer who Alonzo turns on and kills.

Race plays a significant part in this film. Almost everyone who commits a crime in this film is from a minority. All the African-Americans in the film are portrayed either as crooked cops or gang members. Same thing with the latinos. On top of that, the women in the film are all portrayed as sex objects. Furthermore, throughout the movie Alonzo refers to Jake as "my nigga". Which is obviously a racial slur and he usually says it when Jake has just committed some crime, which links race (African Americans) with crime.

Overall, the movie was somewhat entertaining but it did nothing to enhance the portrayal of minorities in film nor to improve the image of cops in film. The minorities were all portrayed as criminals and the cops were all portrayed as crooked. On the plus side, the acting was good as both Ethan Hawke and Denzel Washington were nominated for Academy Awards and Denzel won.


Blogger JonShafe said...

Wow, let me pat you on the back sir. The way you use a different title than everyone else, and find it imperitive to point it out; that is like, so awesome.

10:25 PM  

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