They say you should always go with what you’re good at, and after writer/director David Ayer’s screenplay for Training Day set the platform for Denzel Washington’s first Academy Award win, he’s once again returning to Los Angeles for another gritty cop story, just like he did with Dark Blue, Harsh Times and Street Kings. (Well to be fair, he also did S.W.A.T but for the sake of his reputation, let’s just pretend that that never happened.)
And this time around he has a Brokeback Cowboy and a Mexican Locksmith walking the beat and trying not to get killed.
While Ayer has certainly proven that he knows how to do gritty human drama, I’m not sure how I feel about the look of this film. The overly-bright natural light, digital camera look is one that never quite appealed to me, and hopefully won’t distract too much from what could be a great cop film.
And while Jake Gyllenhall tends to always bring his A game, it’s Michel Peña that I really want to see shine here. He had breakout performances in both Paul Haggis’ Crash and Million Dollar Baby, but since then he’s just been bouncing around from one non-memorable role to the next, just paying the bills, I guess. Hopefully now that Ayer’s script gives him something he can truly sink his teeth into again, he can start delivering on the promise he showed so early in his career.
Academy Award® nominee Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Peña star as young Los Angeles police officers Taylor and Zavala, who are marked for death after confiscating a small cache of money and firearms from the members of a notorious cartel, during a routine traffic stop.
Last Updated: July 25, 2012