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Is Training Day still Realistic Today?

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Is Training Day still Realistic Today?

Old 06-23-09, 03:40 PM
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Re: Is Training Day still Realistic Today?

Originally Posted by jeffbase34 View Post
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.

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Old 06-23-09, 03:49 PM
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Re: Is Training Day still Realistic Today?

COULDN'T CARE LESS
Old 06-23-09, 03:50 PM
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Re: Is Training Day still Realistic Today?

Originally Posted by Apone View Post
A Maori actor Cliff Curtis playing a Latino gangster? That is realistic.
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.
Old 06-23-09, 03:53 PM
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Re: Is Training Day still Realistic Today?

Originally Posted by Fist of Doom View Post
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!
Old 06-23-09, 03:57 PM
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Re: Is Training Day still Realistic Today?

Originally Posted by dx23 View Post
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.

Last edited by Ash Ketchum; 06-23-09 at 03:59 PM.
Old 06-23-09, 06:52 PM
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Re: Is Training Day still Realistic Today?

Originally Posted by harrydoyle View Post
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.
Old 06-23-09, 09:43 PM
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Re: Is Training Day still Realistic Today?

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.
Old 06-23-09, 09:48 PM
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Re: Is Training Day still Realistic Today?

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.
Old 06-24-09, 10:04 AM
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Re: Is Training Day still Realistic Today?

Originally Posted by Ash Ketchum View Post
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.
Old 06-24-09, 10:33 AM
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Re: Is Training Day still Realistic Today?

Originally Posted by jeffbase34 View Post


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.

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