Step Aside ‘Training Day,’ ‘End Of Watch,’ Sean Penn Might Be Bringing Us Grit In ‘Asphalt City’


Kay Smythe News and Commentary Writer
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The full trailer for “Asphalt City” starring Sean Penn and Tye Sheridan dropped Wednesday, and it looks like it’s trying to compete with the likes of “Training Day” and “End of Watch.”

When “Asphalt City” premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in 2023, it was called “Black Flies,” according to Deadline. The film follows a young New York City paramedic called Ollie Cross (Sheridan) who is assigned to the night shift alongside EMT Gene Rutkovsky (Penn). Judging by both the trailer and the description provided by Deadline, it doesn’t look like it’s a particularly light film.

“The dark nights reveal a city in crisis; Rutkovsky guides Cross, as each 911 call is often dangerous and uncertain, putting their lives on the line every day to help others,” the official description reads. “Cross soon discovers firsthand the chaos and awe of a job that careens from harrowing to heartfelt, testing his relationship with Rutkovsky and the ethical ambiguity that can be the difference between life and death.”

The film sounds eerily emblematic of others in the genre, like the classic “Training Day” and later with a personal favorite of mine, “End of Watch.

It’s exciting to see Penn in a role like this. He doesn’t really take on parts that don’t push him to the limit of human morality, so I bet we’ll walk away with more than a few questions about the “ethical ambiguity” of the subject matter. (RELATED: Netflix Drops Chilling Trailer For Iconic Post-Apocalypse Sequel)

This is a major role for Sheridan, who is already a pretty big deal in entertainment thanks to films like “Ready Player One.” But this is yet another step in a good direction for his career as a serious leading actor. He also just showed up in a Zach Bryan music video alongside Matthew McConaughey, so who knows where this kid is going next!