Three New York cops working in compromised circumstances find their lives colliding as they look for a way out of their own problems.
Nearly a decade after his Oscar triumph, Antoine Fuqua returns to corrupt cops for his most searing work since 2001’s Training Day. With an opening scene debating the notion of “righter and wronger”, it’s clear that this time the notion of moral relativism is yet more sharply drawn, with grizzled warhorses and doomed rookies mired in a seamy New York where drugs, prostitution and sex-trafficking are common currency. Central to all this is Ethan Hawke’s complex, Catholic Sal, a cop forced by financial desperation into some extremely dark corners. And he’s not alone, with Richard Gere and Don Cheadle similarly compromised, the former’s weary vet a very dim chink of light in the shades of grey. Perhaps a tad over-egged, this is still a striking, violent thriller, as jittery and full of nerves as its protagonists.
A jagged, hard-hitting thriller, Fuqua's Training Day follow-up expertly traces shades of light and dark in its conflicted cops.