DVD Talk
Is Training Day still Realistic Today? [Archive] - DVD Talk Forum
 
Best Sellers
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
The Longest Day
Buy: $54.99 $24.99
9.
10.
DVD Blowouts
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
Alien [Blu-ray]
Buy: $19.99 $9.99
8.
9.
10.

PDA
DVD Reviews

View Full Version : Is Training Day still Realistic Today?


jeffbase34
06-22-09, 11:05 AM
I watched Training Day last weekend. My 4th time viewing this film, but my first time on blu-ray. Training Day is easily one of my favorite movies of all time. Denzel and Ethan are so amazing in this film.

A good actor can tell a story with just his eyes. Denzel was just the ultimate badass, a guy skilled at manipulating people, bringing them into his dark world. You can read the coldness, immorality in his eys. Ethan starred as the rookie cop, caving into peer pressure by the desire to have success in his field. You can read fear, and naivety in his eyes as well.


The director has stated that they filmed the movie in LA gang land to add a real texture to the movie. You can feel and almost smell LA. The lingo and gang talk was all researched and authentic.

I am just curious how this movie holds up today. Is this lingo and talk still the same in gang land? Do people still call each other their Dawg? Is it relevant to today's gang culture? I'm also curious how deep these under cover cops really take it. Do they really do drugs to blend into the culture?

OldBoy
06-22-09, 11:15 AM
I am just curious how this movie holds up today. Is this lingo and talk still the same in gang land? Do people still call each other their Dawg? Is it relevant to today's gang culture? I'm also curious how deep these under cover cops really take it. Do they really do drugs to blend into the culture?

couldn't tell ya. after Bloods & Crips Weekly was discontinued i have been so out of the loop.

Brent L
06-22-09, 11:19 AM
I gotta admit Scott, I laughed. :lol:

inri222
06-22-09, 11:31 AM
Do people still get their shit pushed in?

The Bus
06-22-09, 11:47 AM
:lol:

Dr Mabuse
06-22-09, 12:10 PM
"Breathe dog."

Yep, that's still a cold ass line delivered just hard as hell.

'Training Day' is still realistic.

wm lopez
06-22-09, 01:00 PM
"Breathe dog."

Yep, that's still a cold ass line delivered just hard as hell.

'Training Day' is still realistic.
Gangbangers as heroes towards the end?

Jray
06-22-09, 01:04 PM
I don't think it was realistic when it was released....?? Even though Denzel Washington got a lot of love for his performance, I always thought the movie was a little too over the top and somewhat cartoonish.

Mabuse
06-22-09, 01:55 PM
Yeah, it wasn't authentic when it was new. It's a slick and polished studio film, not an authentic portrait of gang life. Gang life is dull and squalid...a truely authentic film would not be entertaining or interesting.

Real cop work is also dull and not entertaining.

harrydoyle
06-22-09, 02:52 PM
Gangbangers as heroes towards the end?

I don't know about heroes, but they did prove to be at least honorable and have a "code" I guess...

theflicker
06-22-09, 02:58 PM
"Breathe dog."

Yep, that's still a cold ass line delivered just hard as hell.

'Training Day' is still realistic.

Yeah, it wasn't authentic when it was new. It's a slick and polished studio film, not an authentic portrait of gang life. Gang life is dull and squalid...a truely authentic film would not be entertaining or interesting.

Real cop work is also dull and not entertaining.

Gah. Which one to believe? One of them's a doctor though . . .

The Bus
06-22-09, 03:00 PM
Gangbangers as heroes towards the end?

<img src="http://www.viceland.com/int/v13n10/htdocs/hand/7.jpg">

stingermck
06-22-09, 03:03 PM
Training Day is a film I like, that I never feel like watching. Just too over the top sometimes.

Give me a random episode of The Shield instead.

Giantrobo
06-22-09, 03:12 PM
I don't think it was realistic when it was released....?? Even though Denzel Washington got a lot of love for his performance, I always thought the movie was a little too over the top and somewhat cartoonish.

Sure it was over the top. It's a movie. But I things were somewhat based on some of the craziness that goes on in the streets with a little dramatic license mixed in.

Hokeyboy
06-22-09, 03:16 PM
It was never realistic, especially when you consider some of the groan-inducing contrivances the movie utilized.

I suppose the most unrealistic feature of the movie was casting Ethan 'Stephen Hawking Could SO Kick My Ass' Hawke in a "tough guy" role.

jeffbase34
06-22-09, 03:42 PM
It was never realistic, especially when you consider some of the groan-inducing contrivances the movie utilized.

I suppose the most unrealistic feature of the movie was casting Ethan 'Stephen Hawking Could SO Kick My Ass' Hawke in a "tough guy" role.

Ethan wasn't cast as a tough guy role. He was cast as a push over rookie cop desperate to please. He had several opportunities to get out of that car and walk away. He didn't fight back until things got really extreme.

According to the director, the cast and crew spent a lot of time researching with undercover cops and even gang leaders. The guy who played Smiley hung out with Latino gangs. He also said there is an unseen level of corruption similiar to the movie all over the place. The part about flipping pigeons and The Jungle was real too. Very fascinating commentary. Been meaning to watch History Channel's gangland as well.

Larry C.
06-22-09, 03:52 PM
This movie was ok I also never felt the need to rewatch it. But realistic? Hell no.

Ash Ketchum
06-22-09, 06:08 PM
I never found the film remotely realistic. It was a seriously contrived cop thriller. It was supposedly inspired by a real case of corruption, but I use the word "inspired" loosely. The storyline in the film didn't match the events of the real case at all. And Ethan Hawke turning superhuman at the end and attracting all that spontaneous black support on the street just pushed the film into the realm of the absurd.

You want a "realistic" cop thriller, you have to go to cop films based on true events. THE FRENCH CONNECTION (1971) comes to mind. Compare TRAINING DAY to other L.A.-set cop films like the ones based on Joseph Wambaugh novels. Check out THE NEW CENTURIONS (1972) or THE ONION FIELD (1979). (You can pass on THE CHOIRBOYS; it's completely insane, thanks to Aldrich's direction, and Wambaugh disowned it and tried to take his name off it. I love it, but I wouldn't call it realistic.)

dino88
06-22-09, 06:22 PM
I am just curious how this movie holds up today. Is this lingo and talk still the same in gang land? Do people still call each other their Dawg? Is it relevant to today's gang culture? I'm also curious how deep these under cover cops really take it. Do they really do drugs to blend into the culture?

You're asking this question on an internet site dedicated to dvds. Do you really think there are any gang bangers or undercover cops reading this right now?

Dr Mabuse
06-22-09, 08:12 PM
When LA decided to actually start enforcing the rules about investigating the finances of LA's Rampart gang division, to see if they had sources of income they couldn't account for, they had hundreds of long time officers threaten to quit rather than have their finances investigated.

Sometimes the truth is so scary people would rather believe it's not real.

http://i260.photobucket.com/albums/ii18/drmabuse06/Forum%20comments/link.gif (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rampart_Scandal)

Some of you might look into Rafael A Perez and the LA Rampart scandal. Remember, the things disclosed there are only what investigators found out about. They robbed banks, did home invasions, dealt drugs, shot unarmed people, stole drugs and money from dealers and gangs, etc.

My quote above was about the 'lingo', which was a direct question by the OP. No one figured that out?

'Training Day' is a movie, not a documentary. Documentaries on the stuff of LA cops are more intense and hard to believe.

benh911
06-22-09, 08:28 PM
You're asking this question on an internet site dedicated to dvds. Do you really think there are any gang bangers or undercover cops reading this right now?

rotfl

Apone
06-23-09, 12:47 AM
A Maori actor Cliff Curtis playing a Latino gangster? That is realistic. -wink-

jeffbase34
06-23-09, 02:21 PM
I never found the film remotely realistic. It was a seriously contrived cop thriller. It was supposedly inspired by a real case of corruption, but I use the word "inspired" loosely. The storyline in the film didn't match the events of the real case at all. And Ethan Hawke turning superhuman at the end and attracting all that spontaneous black support on the street just pushed the film into the realm of the absurd.

You want a "realistic" cop thriller, you have to go to cop films based on true events. THE FRENCH CONNECTION (1971) comes to mind. Compare TRAINING DAY to other L.A.-set cop films like the ones based on Joseph Wambaugh novels. Check out THE NEW CENTURIONS (1972) or THE ONION FIELD (1979). (You can pass on THE CHOIRBOYS; it's completely insane, thanks to Aldrich's direction, and Wambaugh disowned it and tried to take his name off it. I love it, but I wouldn't call it realistic.)

I could care less if the movie matched a real life event detail by detail. It's a movie. I wanted a good story, and Training Day delivers with complex characters. Everyone here is barking how unrealistic the movie is without offering any details why. Is gangland peaceful now? Would I feel safe crusiing the streets of Watts at 12am? Or do I need a golden pass to cruise through Imperial Courts?

The movie was filmed in the real areas with real gang bangers as extras. Seems pretty realistic to me.

dx23
06-23-09, 02:34 PM
I have similar questions: Is West Side Story still realistic today? Is The Warriors still realistic today? If so, I don't want to go to NY because I could get mug and beaten by a gang of baseball players with painted faces.

Fist of Doom
06-23-09, 02:51 PM
Is Death Wish 3 realistic? Those cops seem to have a slow response time.

Ash Ketchum
06-23-09, 03:40 PM
I could care less if the movie matched a real life event detail by detail. It's a movie. I wanted a good story, and Training Day delivers with complex characters. Everyone here is barking how unrealistic the movie is without offering any details why. Is gangland peaceful now? Would I feel safe crusiing the streets of Watts at 12am? Or do I need a golden pass to cruise through Imperial Courts?

The movie was filmed in the real areas with real gang bangers as extras. Seems pretty realistic to me.

Ethan Hawke turning super-strong and surviving that kind of punishment during the final confrontation and his sudden rallying of all the people on the street rang false to me. It's doubtful a black neighborhood in L.A. would have suddenly thrown support to an unknown white cop over a known black one even if the black cop was corrupt. The film was presented to us as a realistic cop thriller--and I must say there were some sharply written and directed early scenes, including the one with Macy Gray--but then grew increasingly unrealistic. This kind of thing was uncommon in the cop films I grew up with, where cops tended not to do superhuman things, other than the occasional stunt driving (BULLITT and THE SEVEN-UPS) and whatever Dirty Harry did in DIRTY HARRY and MAGNUM FORCE. Maybe not the height of realism, but not quite the kind of ridiculous stunts pulled by Bruce Willis in the DIE HARD films and Mel Gibson in the LETHAL WEAPON films. That's become the norm now and it ruins, for me, many a potentially good cop film, such as TRAINING DAY.

Also, I thought Denzel's portrayal started out well, as long as they kept it ambiguous, but once he became an outright villain, it turned what could have been a good drama into a cheap melodrama. I prefer when films like this allow the moral tension to dictate the chain of events, rather than some prescribed thriller formula. Build the characters and let their interactions guide the story, not the commercial need to end things with a bang. GOODFELLAS is a good example of what I'm talking about. That's a gangster film. For films about police corruption, SERPICO (1973) is the gold standard.

Hokeyboy
06-23-09, 03:49 PM
COULDN'T CARE LESS :mad: :mad: :mad:

Ash Ketchum
06-23-09, 03:50 PM
A Maori actor Cliff Curtis playing a Latino gangster? That is realistic. -wink-

Cliff Curtis has played just about every racial group so that when he actually played a Maori (in WHALE RIDER), I was surprised to learn there and then that he actually is a Maori.

Ash Ketchum
06-23-09, 03:53 PM
Is Death Wish 3 realistic? Those cops seem to have a slow response time.

And wasn't the police station right next to the gang HQ?! The cops were practically eyewitnesses to all the gang mayhem and they still didn't do anything.

I must say though that the production design in that film was pretty spectacular. I was trying to figure out what neighborhood in Brooklyn or Toronto they filmed it at, only to learn, from the Internet, that it was filmed entirely on a studio backlot in England!

Ash Ketchum
06-23-09, 03:57 PM
I have similar questions: Is West Side Story still realistic today? Is The Warriors still realistic today? If so, I don't want to go to NY because I could get mug and beaten by a gang of baseball players with painted faces.

Oh yeah, New York City's gangs have always been multiracial and decked out in face paint, didn't ya know?

WEST SIDE STORY, for all its "Daddy-O" dialogue and for all its scenes of gang members breaking out into song, was actually somewhat realistic in its depiction of New York street guys of the '50s and the way these guys moved and talked (once you took Tony out of the scene). The lead gang members in the film all came from the Broadway cast and were native New Yorkers of Irish, Italian, Jewish and Puerto Rican backgrounds. I recall, as a kid, being impressed with the movie because it showed us guys who looked and sounded exactly like the guys in my neighborhood. And I would have sworn that most of the film was shot on location in Manhattan until I learned from one of the cast members that after the opening sequence that ends with the Jets Song, the rest of it was shot in Hollywood. But that whole opening sequence where the two gangs taunt and chase each other, was all shot in a neighborhood, San Juan Hill, that was about to be demolished so they could build Lincoln Center.

wm lopez
06-23-09, 06:52 PM
I don't know about heroes, but they did prove to be at least honorable and have a "code" I guess...
What code is that?
Here in Chicago every weekend there is a innocent bystander getting killed.
Because the gangbanger missed his target.

Ranger
06-23-09, 09:43 PM
The Russian mob and Roger's murder were over the top. Dre as a narc and Snoop in a wheelchair were silly.

Still a great movie.

Sean O'Hara
06-23-09, 09:48 PM
On his commentary for Seven, Fincher says that when he first received the script it had a standard Hollywood ending where the detectives chase John Doe through the city after stopping him from killing Gwyneth Paltrow. He said it felt like there was some great idea trapped in the script, but it had been buried in rewrites. So he went back to the first draft, which had the head-in-the-box ending, and he knew that was the movie he wanted to make.

Training Day feels like what Seven would've been without Fincher. It completely cops out in the last fifteen minutes.

jeffbase34
06-24-09, 10:04 AM
Ethan Hawke turning super-strong and surviving that kind of punishment during the final confrontation and his sudden rallying of all the people on the street rang false to me. It's doubtful a black neighborhood in L.A. would have suddenly thrown support to an unknown white cop over a known black one even if the black cop was corrupt. The film was presented to us as a realistic cop thriller--and I must say there were some sharply written and directed early scenes, including the one with Macy Gray--but then grew increasingly unrealistic. This kind of thing was uncommon in the cop films I grew up with, where cops tended not to do superhuman things, other than the occasional stunt driving (BULLITT and THE SEVEN-UPS) and whatever Dirty Harry did in DIRTY HARRY and MAGNUM FORCE. Maybe not the height of realism, but not quite the kind of ridiculous stunts pulled by Bruce Willis in the DIE HARD films and Mel Gibson in the LETHAL WEAPON films. That's become the norm now and it ruins, for me, many a potentially good cop film, such as TRAINING DAY.

Also, I thought Denzel's portrayal started out well, as long as they kept it ambiguous, but once he became an outright villain, it turned what could have been a good drama into a cheap melodrama. I prefer when films like this allow the moral tension to dictate the chain of events, rather than some prescribed thriller formula. Build the characters and let their interactions guide the story, not the commercial need to end things with a bang. GOODFELLAS is a good example of what I'm talking about. That's a gangster film. For films about police corruption, SERPICO (1973) is the gold standard.


I couldn't disagree more. The movie was so ripe with moral conflicts that some people remained convinced that Denzel wasn't a bad guy until the very end. IT was all just a training day test. But his character was so cold that he tells the homies to get the bathtub ready for killing Jake. Then a minute later, he offers a teary eyed apology for exposing Jake to the ugliness of this world.

I didn't see Ethan as super strong. He got his butt kicked most of the time. Throwing himself off the balconey and crashing on the car was a bit unrealistic, but how else was he going to stop Denzel from leaving?


Any cop film is going to have a degree of unrealism. They go into a gun battle with bullets flying and walk away unharmed.

Ash Ketchum
06-24-09, 10:33 AM
Any cop film is going to have a degree of unrealism. They go into a gun battle with bullets flying and walk away unharmed.

That's true and is certainly true of some of the police thrillers that I love, like BULLITT and THE FRENCH CONNECTION, with their car chases, and DIRTY HARRY, with its lone cop leaping onto the bus top from the highway and making that risky shot at the end with the killer holding the boy hostage. I just think that the "degree of unrealism" has gotten more pronounced over the years and audiences accept a greater degree of unrealism than they used to. I tend to think that actual cop stories, told truthfully, would maker better films than the elaborate fictions of the DIE HARD and LETHAL WEAPON series. Having said that, I must say that I appreciate your thoughtful and reasoned defense of TRAINING DAY, which is, as you've indicated, far more realistic than the Willis/Gibson brand of cop action. Perhaps I should give it another viewing. I only saw it once, when it came out, and it may be time to reevaluate it.