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Six simple words and you don't have to read any further
I have wasted money on this.
Despite popular opinion, I don't get endless free passes for flicks (though one or two do make it into my hands) and I had to pay to see this film. I was totally stoked on it too.
A film about one day in the life of a cop who becomes a rookie once he is on the streets with a hard nosed narcotics cop. Sounds like a gritty, street flick with lots of life lessons and foot chases until a final big bust...maybe something recalling The French Connection.
For the first thirty to forty minutes my hopes are kept alive. Some interesting performances, Ethan Hawkes is not annoying me with his 'I wish I were a soulful poet' eye blinking bit that he usually does. And the buzz before I had caught the flick was out there saying that Washington might be in line for another Academy Award nomination. That's waaaaaaay off the mark. (Post Note: Since he has won this just proves one of two things...critics know nothing...which I am inclined to agree with...or the Academy Awards isn't so much about the film/actor of the year, but past efforts that warrant recognition...I still think Denzel was much better in The Hurricane.)
Because once this movie hits a certain point in its endlessness, one no longer cares about the good or the bad in this film, one simply wants it to find an ending.
Some may think this is an accurate portrayal of cops...and who knows, in L.A. it may be but I honestly can not fathom the entire police world being this stupid, thick headed or corrupt. (Don't get me wrong, I'm not thick headed enough to think graft et al. doesn't occur but the extremes and obviousness of this movie seem to take the audience for fools.) So it comes down to blame time. Who do I blame?
I can never fault Denzel Washington...I may not care for his interviews or beliefs but I always am stunned by a performance of his, and here he excels once more. It is a great performance, but not one worthy of an Academy Award. Ethan Hawke? Naw, he's actually better here than I have ever seen him. So, how about the director Antoine Fuqua? Well, sadly he is the prime candidate as he is the director. He is also the man behind the Jamie Foxx flick, Bait, a film that suffered from the exact same problem this does. A solid beginning but no ending in sight. And that's sad, considering the last fifteen minutes are the most crucial when it comes to making the lasting decision of whether a film is a good one or not.
By the last fifteen minutes I have already planned out how to get home and what I was going to have for dinner. Save your money on this one and rent the DVD when it hits your local store.
Copyright© Written By: Rob Paul
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