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Sunday 29 July 2012

What Do You Think of DENZEL WASHINGTON's Career?

There are two versions of Denzel. 

There's Denzel Washington the cop. He knows the rules and he respects the rules, yet sometimes he takes matters into his own hands. He knows how to handle things. He's experienced. He's had a few professional indiscretions, in fact; he's being investigated right now, but it was probably a huge misunderstanding. 

Then there's the Denzel Washington who inspires black people to be amazing and white people to be less racist. He goes to a college and finds a bunch of black youngsters who are disrespecting each other. He teaches them a lesson or two about life. Then he finds some ignorant white folk and teaches them a thing or two about life. Then he takes his team/community into a competition and they win, or lose. Either way, they learn valuable life lessons.

Now, I LOVE his movies. I don't think anyone else is as watchable as he is. I think he absolutely nails it every time. But when I look at his career, I don't see that much range. I feel like, if he were to die today, we'd feel that he was capable of much more. He's worked with some good directors; but how many greats? Spike Lee loves him, and he's just worked with Zemeckis, but I bet that if you saw Denzel's bucket list of directors to work with, he wouldn't have ticked off that many of them. 

Does he not get offered the roles? Or does he play it safe and earn a pay cheque? Or is Hollywood so scared of messing with the magic Denzel-Box-Office formula that they refuse to greenlight anything different? Denzel is undoubtedly a movie star -- he's not the guy who does small independent movies because of a good script. He focuses on doing one movie a year, usually about a Police Detective who may or may not be a good guy, and he does it very well. 

The answer could be simple. He's a family man. He has a life outside of his art. He's been quoted in the past as saying he likes to do one film a year and then go travelling with his wife and kids. In fact, now his kids are grown up and have successful careers (one of them is a professional football player), he has lots of other things to focus on and be proud of. So maybe he just sees his art as work. Lifestyle maintenance. And who am I to judge? I respect that. He's certainly doing a better job at it, artistically, than people like Eddie Murphy and Adam Sandler. 

There have been so many great roles. 'Philadelphia', wow! 'Man on Fire', hell yeah! 'He Got Game' & 'John Q' are personal favourites. Yet still I feel something is missing. Tom Hanks had 'Forrest Gump', Morgan Freeman had 'Shawshank Redemption', and Al Pacino had 'The Godfather'. Has Denzel Washington had his masterpiece yet?

His acting is a masterpiece every single time. But the material isn't. Will we ever see it? I ask this as a fan. He's been close, many times. He was fantastic in 'Training Day', riveting in 'Inside Man' and inspiring in 'The Great Debaters'. But regardless of how good he was; none of these films go down as classics. They're good, perhaps great; but they don't get the gold medal. Is Denzel Washington's best yet to come?


  1. I think we are on the same side when it comes to Denzel, he's certainly one of the best things in the film industry with a superb acting formula.

  2. You're right about him, Kid. Denzel is consistently good but the material isn't. I can't answer either if he has chosen that deliberately or if no great movies are offered to him.

  3. Yes, yes, a million times yes! I've been saying this for too long. Denzel has been impeccable-his movies, not. We just need the two to match and then we're good.

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