Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Training Day Musings

Unlike "Se7en," "Training Day" neatly ties up all loose ends. I like the movie a lot because the characters are believable. Race is not an issue in the film, it is THE issue. Both cops struggle with issues pertaining to their respective races: Hoyt knows he does not fit in "the Jungle," but he tires to adapt to the various situations he encounters by becoming like Alonzo (thankfully, in the end, Hoyt comments that the only thing he really learned all day is that he is not at all like Alonzo); Alonzo knows he is only powerful in his neighborhood because he exercises his power as a police officer, so once he loses that power, Alonzo becomes vulnerable and frankly his life is at risk. Although Alonzo is not very similar to the other African American cops we have seen so far, he does seem very believable. I never really respected him at any time, but the big bust/murder was the final straw. All joking aside, Alonzo reared his ugly head and showed his true colors in that scene.

Regarding Hoyt, I see similarities between him and Mills. Hoyt, like Mills, needs to be taught, but unfortunately, Hoyt's mentor harms, not helps, him. However, Mills and Hoyt both want to advance their careers, and they're both willing to step on toes to move up. Mills insists on taking on the case, and Hoyt goes against his personal ethical code and uses drugs and drinks alcohol in the car and on the job. Sadly, both characters go though tragedies in the films, but lucky for Hoyt, he surfaces unscathed (minus a few bumps and bruises) while Mills...well, we all know how that ended.

"Training Day" did not impress me much in the theatre because I wanted the gang guys to kill Alonzo on the block. But comparing the film to others such as "In the Heat of the Night" and "Seven," I thought the relationship between the cops in "Training Day" was the most believable, perhaps because the film took place when the men first met, and it all happened in the context of one day. All in all, I liked the film, and I think it really takes the cop relationship to a new place we have not discussed so far.


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