Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Best Actor 2001: Denzel Washington in Training Day

Denzel Washington won his second Oscar from his fifth and final nomination (at the moment). Washington plays a corrupt narcotics detective, Alonzo Harris, who goes through extreme measures to do his job and to pay back a debt.

Training day follows the first day of the new detective (Ethan Hawke). Alonzo is his guide and he gives Hawke's character a baptism of fire. Washington plays the role that controls everyscene basically, and he is as loud and bombastic as one can get.

Washington obviously does not play a character of extreme subtlety but instead of one as an over the top villain. Now I do believe the character could have been underplayed but we get get overplayed so I suppose you just have to go with it. But its a shame really because in one scene after he killed a man who seemed to be his friend he tells Hawke's character about how bad the guy really was and how he did the right thing. If there were more scenes like that in the performance it probably would have been much more interesting and effective. Instead we get his loud shouting and quick talking, and acting odd scenes for the rest of the movie. Washington plays it up to the extreme but then again saying things like King Kong's got nothing on me and such is a bit extreme anyways. This performance works well enough but when someone is so over the top they should be more effective and entertaining than Washington is here. Not a bad performance but I do believe it to be a missed opportunity since I think Washington could have made a truly effective and subtle villain instead of just a loud one. 


joe burns said...

I agree! I was expecting a lot more. I think that the script should have given him more to do.

Louis Morgan said...

It probably should have. Maybe if his part had more depth Washington might of not gone as over the top.

Fritz said...

It's been a while since I saw the movie. I remember that I liked Denzel but I thought that Ethan was better and the real leading character.

Louis Morgan said...

Hawke was the real lead, and I think he also gave the better performance.