FRAILTY (Bill Paxton, 2001)

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SPOILER ALERT!!

If you were chosen by God to be His servant warrior in ridding the world of all evil, would you be willing to undertake the said task? As the rightful God’s Hand on earth, you would have the power to differentiate humans from demons (in sinful human form) just by mere touch. It would be your obligation to kill these wicked ones like a modern day, merciless, axe-wielding Abraham. Still up for it?

In this religious thriller, a father of two sons (played by the late Bill Paxton) believed that he was the Chosen One and converted himself into a vigilante without any hesitation. For the majority of this film, the audience was left guessing if he was suffering from hallucinations conjured by a mental disorder or if his visions from God were real. Even with a big reveal in its third act, it still presented a conundrum on whether or not he was really serving a vengeful God (who could say if it was also an unforgiving demon presenting itself as God?).

Matthew McConaughey as the narrator slash suspicious witness also delivered a great performance reminiscent of his future role in True Detective. It worked really well with the overall gothic feel.

Definitely one of the underrated films of the early 2000s.

Rating: ★★★★☆

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TRAINING DAY (Antoine Fuqua, 2001)

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Politics aside, I still couldn’t believe Denzel Washington won an Oscar for this one-note character. Even worse, he beat the excellent performance of Russell Crowe in A Beautiful Mind.

I didn’t expect much from an Antoine Fuqua movie except graphic violence and that one got covered. I felt very much like Ethan Hawke’s character experiencing the worst ride-along ever.

Like any typical day, nothing was completely memorable except for Eva Mendes’ full frontal nudity and a horrendous bit by Macy Gray (probably playing herself).

Rating: 2/5