I wasn't impressed with this movie. So not impressed with the super actor Denzel oh Denzel, please. I put this review away for a long time in a pile of "later". Sure, the premise was okay. But I generally never enjoy a movie which always trying too hard to be edgy. Edgyness should come natural, not being forced upon.
Jake Hoyt (Ethan Hawke), a rookie cop, wants to join Narcotics Department, so he is being evaluated by Detective Alonzo Harris (Denzel Washington) by spending a 24 hours time on the street of L.A, and solving drugs cases. Alonzo is an LAPD veteran who has been working the narcs for over a decade, but his ways and techniques of becoming a narc agent are questionable, if not corrupt. Jake observes Alonzo's methods, and in the madness, he tries to solve all the twists and turns, trying to figure out who really is the enemy here. Directed by Antoine Fuqua.
I'm probably the minority here to say that Denzel Washington is not my favorite actor. Sure, he's a good actor. But I never actually like his performances. In this movie, he plays a baddie, a role that was a bit different from his previous roles. He usually playing a goodie. But the thing about him in this movie was he played his character a little over the top. When I said little, I mean big. Sure, whatever. Yes, he's a badass cop slash villain. I get it. His portrayal is too way up there, it seems cartoonish. I've seen movies and TV series about crooked cops, like "The Professional" and "The Shield" where the characters of Gary Oldman and Michael Chicklis as the evil cops were played so naturally and over the edge, hard and gritty by them. But in this movie, I only sees him as Denzel, not as a crooked cop. He won the Oscar, but I thought it was just a flashy gesture from the Academy. The character is so one dimensional, and the story about good cop vs bad cop is lame.
The only performance I like was from Ethan Hawke, who actually acted as a morally confused cop which had to decide which side he was on. But he was overshadowed by Denzel again, I thought his talent was wasted. The thing about Denzel, although he's African-American, maybe because of his roles as goodies, when he's a baddie, and tried to be a 'black guy from da hood', I found it hard to believe his performance. It seemed fake. The movie itself was a good concept and it looked pretty promising, but it kind of just bugged me as it went along. Parts of the plot become weak, and the ending is too much. It was probably more of my problem then it was the film but it never really caught my interest. Instead of give me a sense of satisfaction, this movie left me with a bitter taste. I can't figure out how this shallow script convinced anybody. There are better dramas and there are way better cop movies out there.
Due to my hectic schedule, I will not be able to review all new movies every week. I apologize. I will however review some older movies from DVDs from time to time. Thank you for understanding.
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