Wednesday, January 11, 2006

King Kong ain't got shit on Training Day

There needs to be a book written on Training Day to establish a whole new set of rules for character relations in that movie. I mean honestly.... it breaks almost every rule ever created except that white cop = good guy. The only guideline the remarkably comes close to being honored is the relationship between the Younger and Elder. Jake Hoyt is established as the "rookie" (and obviously pointed out by everyone so you can't possibly miss that fact) and Alonzo is the seasoned veteran of the Narcotics division. As the elder, Alonzo asserts his dominance upon Jake in drastically rougher ways than we've witnessed in any of the other films. Jake even has his own out-of-control-let's-chase-a-bad-guy scene when he jumps out of the car and takes down 2 hispanics attempting to rape a girl. But by no means does Alonzo EVER miss out on the action. In fact, I think he enjoys it more than Jake. However, Alonzo is by no means the better dressed of the two, as is usually the case for the black cop. Not to mention that the rookie is by far the most innocent and naive character to which we spend half the film wondering if he will actually step up to the plate and play Hero. Cythia Fuchs ( said it best in that Jake "might be the younger, dumber brother of Brad Pitt's character in Seven."

I wanted to point out several scripted alliterations for racism that no one else has discussed. To begin, there is a significant portion of the movie giving focus to Alonzo's line: "To protect the sheep, you have to catch the wolf. It takes a wolf to catch a wolf." Guerrero would have a field day with this. Wolves are a dark grey color, if not black and sheep are white. This also alludes to the fact that criminals are associated with the darker side of everything while the everyday people must be white sheep because they are innocent and need protecting. But if this analogy holds true, it would mean that the cops, or wolves that are catching, are also associated with the same darkness and crookedness. In Alonzo's world, that is entirely true. He even begins howling like a wolf and encourages Jake to do the same. Jake, however, can never produce and acceptable howl of a wolf which can signify right there that he's not a wolf. Or if he is, he's an albino one.

(Right here was where I had a really great long paragraph that I accidentally deleted and couldn't restore... so here's my abreviated version!)

The other suggestion of racism that is embedded in the script is the references to King Kong. A significant chunk of the end of the movie allows for this connection to be brought into the open. Ironically enough, Alonzo lives in an area of town called "The Jungle" because of the dangerous gangs inhabiting the neighborhood. Once surrounded by his neighbors, he cries out that he is the king of his neighborhood because he has the power to send them to jail or let them stay at home. As if that's not enough, Alonzo then screams out that "King Kong ain't got shit on me!" At this point, that is probably very true. At least King Kong was a cute oversized gorilla you could empathize with. In saying this, Alonzo openly brings to the forefront every aspect of racism that can be applied to both King Kong and Training Day. King Kong's a black ape, therefore bad and wreaks havoc upon the city until he is destroyed by the white innocent citizens. Well just like King Kong, Alonzo is dismantled from his Empire State Building by Jake, his neighbors, and eventually the Russians (who must have put over 100 bullets into his body). Training Day allows for these instances of racism, degredation, and crookedness to come to the forefront with minorities being responsible for everything.

Training Day

"Training Day" is definitely different than any of the cop movies we have watched so far. One thing that is similar to "Lethal Weapon" and "Se7en" is that the older, more experienced cop is the black character in the film. The movie starts off with Denzel Washington taking Ethan Hawke on "training day" to see if he is fit for his narcotic squad. As the day progresses, the roles of hero and sidekick definitely switch. At first, when the pair is patrolling during the day, Denzel is the hero and Ethan is the sidekick. However, when Ethan realizes that Denzel is involved in business that he should not be a part of, the roles switch. Ethan becomes the hero and does what he needs to do to eliminate who he thought what his mentor.This is the first movie where the "buddy cop" pair set against each other.
Unlike other movies discussed by Guerrero and King, both characters in the film have families. Similarities between Ethan with other rookies, like Riggs and Mills, include his age and spontaneity. He has Riggs' intelligence and Mills' physical ability.
Race and racism play a large role in this film. Ethan ( for some reason I never caught names) is constantly seen as the outcast because he is white. The movie is mainly set in the ghetto, where Denzel is familiar with the people and the kinds of things that happen there on a daily basis. This movie seems more complicated than other cop films we have discussed. I liked it though, and it still has me thinking.

Smiles and Cries

Training Day was a film about choices. Now that may not sound like much on the surface, after all, what story isnt about choices?
But from the very beginning of Alonso's training program, with the pipe, we see moment after moment of the consequences of their choices. In the car, with the pipe, after Alonso hold a gun to jakes head and he smokes it; Alonso still hold Jake reposonible for smoking it, "your an adult, stand up for your desicions". It seems to the viewers that Jake is put in no choice situations, but again and agian he goes along with it, he wants to make detective. He puts up some resistanece, but it takes a shotgun to his head in a bathtub to scare him straight.
Jake says that on the streets people only have their "smiles and cries", that in the end, that is all they can control. That line applies to more than just one's attitudes, a person is responsible for any and all actions they make. After robbing and killing Roger, Jake asks "so, we had badges so it makes it different?". Alonso thinks that police can do whatever they want and can get away with, he uses his badge for money and power. The opposing character is Jake, the nice, all-american highschool football player white boy who talks of true justice, ethics and "making a difference". He is a stark contrast to Alonso, going out of his way to try and reach out to people, he is the one we see trying to bond with the children in the film, setting him up as almost too pure.

We here people say that Alonso use to be idealistic like Jake, but somehwere along the line he changed. He made the choices which lead him to be as dirty as he was, he was corrupted by the power. Perhaps we can still catch glimpses of that good person, when he served that false warrant, the woman yelled at them about being drunk, "you had to get liqoured up to do your buisness here!" Does alonso drink on the job and do drugs to repress the ugliness he does? I dont believe so, but even if he did, he is not a hero here, he is a monster. A person's true self comes out through fire, and alonso put himself in league with King Kong, a monster, even better than him.
Something interesting I noticed about that, he used and carried his pistols differently than anyone else we have seen. They seemed heavy iin his hands, he was always overemphasizing them to people, rubbing them together, or clacking them. The way he liked to clack them together across his chest at times reminded me of the way King Kong would beat his chest in reposonse to other monsters, challanging them and showing all around that he was the strongest. Just somehting I found interesting.

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.

Training Day

Honesty, bravery, learning, and family are all key themes to the movie Training
Day. The movie tells the story of Detective Alanzo Harris getting the newest member of his team, Jake Hoyt’s, first day of being part of his narcotics officer group. Detective Alanzo is much different from the other African American characters in the other films that we have watched. At first, Alanzo comes off as being humorous and somewhat stuck up in his abilities, much unlike any of the other characters we have seen yet. He is dedicated to his work and keeps his eye on the prize. The way he does his job is unlike any of the other detectives we have seen yet. Alanzo comes off as being good at first, but later on we learn he has alterior motives and has been getting money illegally, making him the un-hero of the film. His “mentee” serves as our hero. Once Hoyt realizes what Alanzo has been doing and all of the scams he has been making, he turns on Alanzo
and ultimately has everyone working with Alanzo and Alanzo’s own family against him. Harris becomes our hero for discovering this, and we discover that he gets the revenge on Alanzo in the end after his death.
Overall, I found that this movie was a good representation of how cops go bad and how they go against what they stand for. I was surprised that Alanzo ended up being a criminal himself, at first thinking that he was just trying to teach Hoyt a lesson. One of the most powerful scenes in my opinion that shows Hoyt as the hero is when Hoyt takes Alanzo’s badge off and puts it on himself. This truly says how much in this one day that Hoyt has proven himself ready for the job.

Reversing the roles

The most interesting element of “Training Day”, in my opinion, was the reversal of racial prejudices. In “Heat” and “Beverly Hills Cops” and the literature we read, the main theme was that it was the African American who felt out of place, who was the “outsider”, the one who felt belittled and threatened. In “Training Day” it is Hoyt who feels out of his league, and intimidated by his environment, much the way Virgil di in “Heat”. It may not be that he suffers racial prejudice, but he is discriminated against, by his “boss”, criminals, suspects and pretty much everyone he deals with in the first ¾ ‘s of the movie. Alonso has the upper hand from the very beginning. He is insulting, condescending and arrogant from the moment he meets Hoyt in the diner. He calls Hoyt “my nigger”. Hoyt is “owned” by Alonso, who is not merely showing him the ropes, but manipulating him, incriminating him and basically acting as his keeper. Alonso constantly imparts wisdom, makes Hoyt howl, and basically manhandles him Later, in the “Jungle”, on the streets, with the other narc officers, while confronting suspect and inside Alonso’s “office” (i.e. the souped up Cadillac) Hoyt stands out, is ill at ease, and is questioned by those around him. One of the other narc officers asks, “Who the hell is this?”. . The two attempted rapists seem to be afraid of Alonso, but one continues to berate Hoyt as he walks away. The white rookie earns no respect. In the “jungle” Hoyt is glared at by the residents, and told not to return by himself. When he arrives at “Smiley’s” house he is again made to feel the stranger. No one moves out of his way, he is almost killed (similar to Virgil, in “Heat”). Hoyt is the “rookie”, the outsider. Towards the end of the movie it appears that he will be killed due to his “outsider” appearance. But, the most interesting element is not that he is an outsider, but that he reverses this role. In the end, he is released from the bathroom where his head is almost blown open, he is allowed to walk through the “jungle”, Alonso’s own son lets him into the house, and no one rushes to kill Hoyt as he does battle with Alonso. Unlike the black character despised by Guerrero, who strives to be white, it would appear that Hoyt has become “black”, or at least become a less naïve and innocent character. By the end of his “Training day” he has seen corruption and maybe come to terms with some of it. He even begins to use some of Alonso’s terminology: “Do you want to go to jail? Or do you wanna go home?” By the closing credits, Hoyt is accepted and respected, a drastic change from earlier in the movie.


Training Day Reflections

Training Day was the first movie where we see a reversal of racial tension. Unlike 48 Hrs., Beverly Hills Cop and In the Heat of the Night where we see that the black cop is the minority, Ethan Hawke, who plays the character of Jake Hoyt, is a white cop who finds himself as the minority throughout most of the movie. Hoyt is thrown into the heart of the ghetto of LA where gangs of blacks and hispanics run free. Hoyt, a goody two-shoes white cop, doesn't really know how to blend into his surrounding which makes his character more believable. I think this because most white people would have quite a hard time integrating into the poor minority culture. By observing Hoyt's body language and actions in racially different situations, you can tell that Hoyt feels very uncertain and out of place. For instance, when Hoyt is trying to keep the black lady and her son calm as Alonzo Harris (played by Denzel Washington) is searching the black women's house, Hoyt tries to ask the young boy if they were cool. Not only doesn't the young boy not respond, he refuses to give Hoyt's outstretched arm a "pound" in return. Also, all the people that recognize Hoyt as a rookie are minorities who can tell that he feels nervous and out of place in their surroundings.
Training Day also alters the concept of "Good Cop". Hoyt in reality never stood for the "good cop" morals until either a gun was pointed at him or when Alonzo tried to have him executed. If anything, Hoyt was a follower who had his own greedy intentions. Sure, he turns down the quarter million he's offered after Alonzo kills the drug dealer, but does that matter? Through most of the movie he puts up with or participates in illegal activities "against his will", but why? Its because he wants to work his way up the ladder to become a detective too earn more money. "You should see the houses THEY live in" he says to his wife in the first scene. He acts so righteously offended by Alonzo right from the beginning, but goes along because he wants to attain his career goals. Some moral high-ground, huh?
On a different note, I find Alonzo Harris character a bit interesting. Its obvious Alonzo is not likable. Yes, he's a tough cop and he uses methods that aren't exactly legal, but Alonzo gives the audience nothing about his character to like. For most evil characters we tend to find areas where we can relate to their personality. For example, we grew to like Sgt. Hartman in Full Metal Jacket and John Doe in Se7en. It's because we saw the humanity in those characters. Denzel Washington is a very good actor, and has the awards to prove it, but I don't know if it was the way the character was written or what, but we are given nothing about Alonzo to like. We aren't allowed to see his humanity.


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.

Training Day

The film, Training Day, is completely different from any of the other films we have watched thus far. In Lethal Weapon, Beverly Hills Cop, In the Heat of the Night, and Se7en, the plots are centered around the two main cops trying to solve the big crime. However in Training Day, there is really no crime that Alonzo and Jake are trying to solve. The movie is merely taking us through the first day Jake meets Alonzo, his training officer.

Training Day focuses more on getting into who each of the two main characters are, and lets us try to decipher what is going on in their minds. We can see early on that Alonzo is a very cocky person who makes sure he always gets what he wants. However, it is not until late in the movie that it becomes apparent that his goal on that day is not to train Jake to become a good narcotics officer. In reality, he is just scheming in order to come up with the one million dollars required to pay off the Russians so that they won't kill him. I thought it was extremely clever, although disturbing, that Alonzo got Jake to smoke the angel dust-laced marijuana so that Jake would not be able to ruin his plan to steal Roger's money. Alonzo realized that as a new officer, Jake would not react well to his corruption.

This scene when Jake smoked the pot was very interesting when I thought about it. Alonzo asked Jake to smoke the drugs, then when he refused, he slammed on the brakes and put a gun to Jake's head. However, Jake stood strong and still refused to do it. It wasn't until Alonzo put back his gun and told Jake to get out of the car because he was not going to make it as a narc that Jake actually smoked the week. It was almost as if Jake would rather have been shot than be fired.

unfamiliar territories

Once again, i think it was a very well produced movie, especially when compared to the techniques used in In the Heat of the Night. I also like how they shied away from both the typical cop-buddy racial depictions, and the hero sidekick roles. First off, i like how it addressed not just black and white, but also latinos. As we have seen throughout the films, one side of the buddy system is always coming into someone elses territory. Here the white boy is coming into the black man's world, which even though Mills comes into Somersets world, the reason race isn't exactly an issue is because that particular city isn't about race, its about humanity as a whole. Here, the continuous scenes and streets are filled with minorities, "the jungle" is basically the black jungle, and then there is the latino community. Both of these are tough and hardened, and Alonzo relates to that and believes it is his world and even tells Jake not to come there without him. The way that Alonzo calles Jake "my nigga" means that he is coming into his world, since in his world it looks to us like whites are the minority, and its good to be a "nigga". By calling Jake "my nigga", it shows that Alonzo is trying to relate to him, make them the same, and it almost makes Alonzo feel better about his corrupt self. This definitely goes back to King's point that the cop and criminal are similar, and Alonzo definitely gets a rush beating up people rather than simply arresting them. The reoccuring question "Do you wanna go to jail or you wanna go home?" shows Alonzo's arrogance, placing the role of judging and justice in his hands. That's why the comment "King Kong ain't got shit on me" fits so well later in the film. His arrogance is what makes me happy to see him finally die at the end (by a million and one bullets).

Training Day

Training Day was the most intense movie that we hatched so far. The characters themselves were more complicated then our previous ones. Alonzo, is the hard ass mentor, while Hoytt is the new rookie to this aspect of the police. Alonzo comes off like he is so much smarter then Hoytt with all his street knowledge, and at times you even see as though Alonzo may be helping him. As the movie continues on Alonzo's true colors are shown when he sets Hoytt up for disaster. Alonzo makes all this be a so called test, but by the end you realize that he is just trying to cover his ass. Hoytt, new to the job is not quit sure what to think or due in certain instances. It is very evident that he does not like the way that Alonzo runs the streets, often not by the books and in a criminal sence. Some instances that the viewer can really see is when he beats up the rapists, when he makes eye contact with the girl in the back of the car, and when Alonzo pressures him to smoke weed and drink while on the job. Not nowing better he does, but you can tell that he does not like it. Just like some of our past cops such as Tibbs or Axel, he is an outsider in the black community and stands out. Hoytt is more like Tibbs than Axel because he likes to follow by the rules, for instance not taking the money that they stole. Alonzo, not like by many and often manipulative, is like Axel and Mills. He likes to do stuff his way and not by the book, the only difference is that Axel and Mills are truly good cops, where as Washington's character is not. Like again in all cop movies you see how family life blends in. Hoytt's family is very important to him and a high priority, where as Alonzo's is not so much. He puts his family in to harm and runs, and this is evident when he looks up in the window and sees his wife and child and just looks away. To me Alonzo is a selfish person, who is not really looking after anyone but himself. His so called friends that he has corrupted are no better than himself.

Training Day

This movie was definately different than the previus two we have watched. Although the black cop in this movie was still the one with more experience and seemed to be more knowledgeable, he was definately not the hero. It was a good transition from seven, because at the end of seven, Mills murders Kevin Spacey. This is obviously something that goes against a cops honor, which was the basis of Training Day.
Training day begins innocently enough, with Ethan Hawke meeting Denzel for his first day of training. Within the first few scenes it becomes evident that Denzel is very malicious and definately has alterior motives. At first, Ethan allows himself to be influenced by Denzel, but as the situations become more serious, he begins to stick with his morals. Something interesting I noticed was how Denzel would manipulate Ethan after every unethical situation. The first time, when they busted the white kids for buying weed, you could tell Ethan was uneasy about how the situation was handeled. When they got back in the car Denzel started raving about how well Ethan handeled the situation and how he was a natural. After every time Ethan was upset about what happened, Denzel would proceed with all these compliments to try and take his mind off what happened. I don't think this worked necessarily, but it was just something I picked up on.
The first time i saw this movie I was really surprised at how good it was. The last scene was what got my attention the most. I figured everyone would gang up on Ethan, but then they all take Ethan's side and turn on Denzel. In the end he got what he deserved, death, and Ethan got what he deserved, the respect of the streets. This movie also makes you think about the police system. I always knew there were crooked cops, but I never thought about how it worked. This movie gives you the feeling that for every crooked cop out there, there is a good guy to balance out the system.

Training Day

When we first are introduced to Denzel's (Alonzo) character it is immediately established that he is a tough and intimadating guy. He sort of treats Hoytt like an idiot, for example when he asks him to pay the bill at the diner. Also, it seems as if he feels like Hoytt is not tough enough...therefore he instantly tries to rough him up and show him who runs the show. Ethan's character is established in their first scene together, at the diner, as a very timid, nervous and scared cop. Unlike any other cop movie we have seen Ethan's character is develped much differently. Although, Brad Pitt was an outsider in Seven, he was not afraid to get the job done. Most of the reason why Hoytt was so scared was because Alonzo did not follow the rules. He was extremely unorthadox. He roughed up the two attempted rapist and Snoop Dogg, searched a house without a warrant ( also like Mills). He resemblemed Axel, in Beverly Hills Cop, in the sense that he was not by the book. In the Beveryl Hills Cop, not going by the book was a different approach that worked for his character. Alonzo basically laughs at the fact that Hoytt wants to do things by the book. Throughout the movie it is as if Alonzo's is the hero and Hoytt is just his sidekick that helps out. But by the end Hoytt isn't scared of Alonzo... he goes right after him and proves himself to be the hero.

When Hoytt and Alonzo first drive down the rough neighborhood, Alonzo tells him don't ever come here with out me. Meaning, that without him they would kill him. By the end of the film, Hoytt is not afraid and goes to the neighborhood in search of him. When he has got the gun to him outside and all the black people that are surrounding the scene take his side prove him to be the real hero. Hoytt didn't agree with how Alonzo chose to do things. A few time you hear Hoytt say "they should be off the streets" meaning he got into this job because he wanted to rid the streets of harmful people. Much like most of the other hero's in the other films. He went after Alonzo because he didnt deserve to be a cop... Alonzo wasn't helping the community in Hoytt's eyes. Hoytt just like all other hero's is compasionate about his work.

No real heroes

Training Day is a fairly disturbing movie all around. So many of the circumstances portrayed in the film made me uncomfortable. I won’t go into specifics, though.

This movie does not exactly fall into the Buddy-Cop realm. The two main characters are paired up, but they are not working together. Throughout his training day, Jake is repeatedly manipulated by Alonzo. That manipulative quality is the most powerful part of Alonzo’s personality, and it constantly has the viewer wondering whether he is a good undercover narcotics agent or if he is in fact just a crooked cop who can talk his way through most situations. I was definitely confused for most of the movie. Alonzo also has an extremely abrasive personality, which is probably what makes his manipulative tendencies so persuasive.

Where Alonzo is a seemingly crooked cop, Jake is a more by-the-book. He has tremendous difficulty in accepting the methods he is told he must adopt in order to be “a part of the team.” Understandably, he objects to smoking the PCP, which he actually thought was marijuana, and to taking the “blood money” from their faux bust. Jake is lamentably easy to manipulate, however. This quality makes the day extremely difficult for him to deal with. His ability to return to his own values in the end makes him the more admirable of the two cops.

Neither cop really fits a strict hero/sidekick description. Alonzo says that he is a hero, that he has put away a lot of drug dealers and the like, but his less desirable and more dominant qualities cancel that out for me. He is really just a manipulative bastard with a price on his head. Jake is neither sidekick nor hero. He takes advice from Alonzo, who is obviously not a sidekick, but also offers the legal alternatives and consequences to his training officer. Doing both of these conflicts with King’s definition of the cop-movie sidekick. He cannot be a hero either, though. His actions only lead to the death of Alonzo; there really isn’t any heroism there. Nor is there really a change in Jake. He does become a bit more intense at the end of the film, but his values have remained intact. For example, he does not kill Alonzo in cold blood – he merely shoots him in the ass even though he has the perfect opportunity to take his life.

This movie was disconcerting, and there were no heroes. I will admit, though, that it was well-made, and I feel that Denzel Washington did in fact deserve his Oscar for his role in this film.


I believe in the movie "Seven,” the role of the hero is played out by the character of Mills. Mills fits the stereotypes of race, gender and age that “Heroes in Hard Times” portrays as the norm for Hollywood movies. He is white, male, and middle aged. The only stereotype that Mills does not have is an unhappy home life, which John Doe does ‘envy’ and change in the end of the film. Somerset also portrays a stereotypical sidekick: he is black and older. Throughout the film, I got the impression that Mills was head of this case and Somerset, even though he did most of the work, was there to help and guide Mills. He constantly is giving advice to Mills about the John Doe case, but the fact that Mills’ wife also relies on him for personal comfort is very important. The most crucial scene in the entire movie that portrays every aspect of the relationship between hero and sidekick is the end scene. Here, Mills is on the edge of a breakdown because he had just found out his wife had been killed. This is the only scene where Somerset offers his professional and personal advice to Mills. They prove a level of friendship within each other. Somerset truly does not want Mills to make the wrong decision for his happiness’s sake, not for the best interest of the job. Unarmed, he coaches Mills to calm down and do the right thing. Somerset is the most vulnerable in this situation than in the entire movie. First, he is unarmed and in the presence of a man borderline temporarily insane given the circumstances. Secondly, however, this is the first relationship Somerset has had in a long time. He speaks of the past as haunting and I got the impression in the beginning of the film that he wasn’t very social and did not have many friends. When the credits rolled, I truly believe Somerset and Mills will care for each other’s pain from being a cop.

This is Dani

“Se7en” is one of my most favorite movies. When watching the film again for another time I found that I didn’t really see racial issues come into play. I think that age was an issue more than race was. The black cop seemed to be the older, wiser and soon to retire character. While the white cop seemed to be younger, more childlike, starting a new job character. The black cop in this movie in comparison to Virgil from “In the Heat of the Night” is that they both seemed to be wise and at times not respected like they should be. In “In the Heat of the Night” Virgil is not listened to with all of his facts about who the murderer was and what not. While in “Se7en” the black cop was not listened to when he would give commands such as, “doesn’t open the door until the others get here…” where the white cop disobeys him and busts down the door regardless. I feel that in both movies the black cop was the more intelligent more together cop while the white cop can be compared with the white cop in lethal weapon. They both seem to not be scared of consequence. They also seemed to be more on the child-like side in their actions and their words. For instance in “Lethal Weapon” the white cop jumps off a building into a big pillow like inflatable which keeps him out of harms way. He does this in order to get their suspect on the ground. In “Se7en” it is a similar situation where the white cop jumps out of a window and lands in bags of garbage as he is on a high chase. In both cases the black cop would not have done the same thing, showing the white cops as a little more risky.