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Tag Archives: Denzel Washington

Safe House

Matt Weston (played by Ryan Reynolds) lives in Cape Town, South Africa with his French girlfriend Ana (by Nora Arnezeder). They would love to relocate to Paris, but Matt’s job won’t allow this at present. Ana doesn’t know it, but he is a fledgling agent of the US Secret Service assigned to manage a Cape Town CIA safe house. He is frustrated because he wants to see active service so he can get a promotion and he keeps the safe house at the ready at all times, but the CIA never seem to need it. Elsewhere in Cape Town, Tobin Frost (by Denzel Washington) is in a bit of bother – he’s an ex-CIA operative and he has something that’s highly valuable to the CIA and other international security agencies – he plans to use it to expose the underhand dealings in these organisations. A team of dangerous gunmen are pursuing him for this valuable cargo so he turns himself over to the US Consulate to escape – he is immediately recognised and as the US government want to keep him where they can see him, they keep him under wraps until they can get him out – at Matt’s safe house. Now all Matt has to do is keep Frost safe and not let him out of his sight until he can be interrogated – but that’s easier said than done ….

The plot of this movie is interesting and Daniel Espinosa makes good use of hand-held camera work to depict the chaos of the environment. However, most of the characters are only given superficial treatment – I would have preferred to see more depth in both Weston and Frost as the leads and particularly more made of Vera Farmiga’s character as a CIA agent. But as a thriller, it serves its purpose – the twists are far between but there are chases, gunfights and punch-ups for those who enjoy that sort of thing. Sam Shepard and Brendan Gleeson join Farmiga as supporting CIA agents whose allegiances are curiously blurred. This is the first American film from Swedish director Espinosa – but there’s not quite enough in this for me.

Made in 2012. Directed by Daniel Espinosa

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Posted by on January 1, 2013 in Movies

 

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Training Day

Los Angeles in 2001 – parts of it are scary places to be – the streets swarm with drug dealers. Such is the workplace of the LAPD Narcotics Branch. Detective Alonzo Harris (played by Denzel Washington) has given 10 loyal and dedicated years of his police career to the Narcs, in an effort to help clean up the streets. We meet him the day he takes on a first-day rookie Jake Hoyt (by Ethan Hawke), to show him the ropes. Jake was a security guard but he now wants to join the fight to stop drugs being sold on the LA streets.  We spend the next 24 hours with the veteran and his protégé. From the get-go, it is clear that Alonzo’s methods are ‘unconventional’ (to say the least) and Jake is taken on a dramatic ride through this dangerous and frightening new world. The only problem is that Alonzo doesn’t always work by the ‘letter of the law’ and Jake is shocked by some of his tactics – to the point where he’s no longer confident of Alonzo’s sanity nor of which ‘side’ Alonzo is actually working for – he is also terrified he won’t actually survive the full 24 hour shift.

This movie is excellent.  It is fast paced, action-packed, in-your-face and terrifying.  The mood is set from the first scene and the camera work on the action and drama sequences is outstanding.  Denzel Washington is jaw-droppingly effective as the wayward Alonzo Harris – just superb.  Ethan Hawke’s naive Jake Hoyte is a perfect foil to Harris’ character and together they are totally authentic in this partnership.  Some of the scenes are chaotic and you may feel that towards the end that the storyline becomes a little far-fetched, yes that is quite possible.  However, I enjoyed this – I was rivetted to the screen for the whole movie, it is very good indeed.

Not surprisingly, at the Academy Awards (Oscar) presentation for the year, Denzel Washington received his second Oscar as “Best Actor in a Leading Role” for his performance as Alonzo Harris.

Made 2001.  Directed by Antoine Fuqua

 
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Posted by on March 7, 2012 in Movies

 

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