Pulp Fiction It Is Not: The pretensions of Training Day


Ethan Hawke and Denzel Washington in Training Day.

Ethan Hawke and Denzel Washington in Training Day.

Training Day has all the adenoidal froth of say a Scarface, replete with a Reservoir Dogs denouement.  The  grimy realism is straight out of Colors sans the nuance.  It  stumbles because of its tendency to render characters  in cursory two dimensions which leave the protagonist, played by Ethan Hawke, as the only living and breathing creature in a world full of vultures.  Fractured vignettes and over-wrought dramatics notwithstanding, Training Day is still worth watching for Denzel Washington’s  fleetingly virtuous performances.  Ultimately Washington falls short of evoking a believable character the way  Samuel Jackson did in Pulp Fiction. His downfall? Bombast untrammeled by the bounds of credulity. Washington strains at evoking a character that Jackson seems to reverbrate from his diaphragm with the ease of a jungle cat.

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