Wednesday, January 09, 2008

"You control who makes you cry"

Training Day was the absolute epitome of what my expectations of this film genre, the buddy cop film, would be. Cursing left and right, hardcore gun threats, drugs, women, and all the action of a detective film. However, the whole thing is terribly crooked and sensationalized. Alonzo is the ultimate manipulator, jerking round the young, gullible Jake. He is so thirsty to prove his worth that he says, “I will anything you want me to do”. Wrong this to say! He is manipulated into smoking PCP, busting the wrong people, and is asked to commit murder. Lets just say, although the movie was highly entertaining and gripping I felt that there was something wrong with it….

I feel that this movie glorifies these negative stereotypes that African Americans are lumped into. The whole gangster rap scene seems to be the basis of the environment and the intense poverty and gang related activity adds to the corruption of the area. We never see a white person who is doing anything as despicable as Alonzo, although there are small instances of their corruption and crime (i.e. the kids in the car who bought drugs, the ‘three wise men’). Alonzo seems to relish in the fact that he has immunity because of his police badge, living in the all black gang neighborhood and pretending he is just like them. His bad reputation follows him wherever he goes; even his neighbors know not to mess with him. Although Denzel Washington’s portrayal of Alonzo was amazing I feel that by taking on this role he is accepting of the negative stereotype of the gangster black man and has further pushed a glorification of the gang lifestyle. I am glad to see his character was stopped from wreaking havoc anymore. His horrible sins caught up to him in a deadly way. If a film of this popularity can have such an impact on the movie community the way it did than how will we be able to move forward and leave behind the hate and violence? When will we be able to see a strong cop who can do all the things that a strong cop should? There are tons of films that either portray cops as crooked, dumb and fat, or devoted to their job so much that they lose what they love or their insanity. Why can’t we have a cop that wins? I was glad to see Jake win through…you go! I also felt that Jake’s character was just there to reinforce the fact that white people are always virtuous and prevail over the black man. This, as we learned from not just our other movies but in life, is not necessarily true. Everyone has their sins and prejudices and but there was a stark difference between the character’s views of what was right and wrong.


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