Denzel Washington has made 13 films in the past ten years. That means he’s made 13 films since he was last nominated for an Academy Award (a win, for Training Day). Granted, he’s no Jessica Chastain, but he’s been putting out consistent numbers. Why, then, does he seem to be losing his shine? 2012’s Safe House made modest earnings in the U.S., ranking third so far this year (so far being the key words, since The Hunger Games should only take a few hours to clobber that record). The Taking of Pelham 123 wasn’t terrible, and John Q was solid. My theory? Denzel needs to break out of his comfort zone more often. While many think his Best Actor win for Training Day was undeserved, there’s no doubt he took on a role that he normally doesn’t take. And he nailed it. DW’s typecast looks like this: a family man goes to work; his job is nothing special, a train operator or a “great debater”; somehow, he is put in a load of danger, be it from criminals, runaway train cars, or financial ruin; he tries to survive/help his family/save the world; finally, he makes it home alive with the gallon of milk he promised his wife. Happily ever after, the end. In Training Day, Alonzo Harris is a drug-dealing, money-making, dirty-as-all-get-up narco detective. Didn’t he get the hint? His next movie sounds like a compromise. IMDb says about Flight, “An airline pilot saves a flight from crashing, but an investigation into the malfunctions reveals something troubling.” Before the comma, it seems like another Washington flop. He’s just a good pilot that saves a plane full of people. It’s like Unstoppable in the air. After the comma, I’m given hope that perhaps Washington was in fact the one that cause the plane to crash, or maybe this is an elaborate scheme. Or maybe I’m just hoping. Either way, the day Denzel Washington is billed as a film’s leading antagonist is the day I’ll jump back on his bandwagon.