Training Day (2001)

Just when you thought Denzel couldn’t get any crazier.

Staying on the right side of the law will be more challenging than anything rookie cop Jake Hoyt (Ethan Hawke) has ever faced — especially since Hoyt’s partner (Denzel Washington) for the next 24 hours is meaner than L.A.’s meanest streets.

To call this film completley out of hand would be an under statement. Basically these two cops do more shit in a day then some cops have done in their entire careers. Such as: drug busts, beat up rapists, steal drug money, oh and of course, gettin high. I mean if the point of this film is to go over the top, then that’s fine, cause it does seem like that’s what it wants to do. I just feel like there are points when the film tries so hard to be serious, the most troubling part about it is taking it as a dark comedy.

I have to give some props to director Antoine Fuqua, who surprisingly gives a lot of energy into this film so it can be what it is. I mean his signature grittiness works so well in this film mostly because it feels like this place is corrupt and terrible to live in, or even be around.

Most of the reason this film worked out so well was because of its main star, and that is none other than the craziest mothafucka in the whole land, Denzel Washington. Denzel plays against the usual heroic role he always plays, and instead goes with the out-of-control, sleazy, but at the same time riveting, and completley likable Alonzo Harris. I mean to say this is good would be giving him no credit, cause there are just parts in this film that would not work if it wasn’t for his amazing signature charm that he uses so well. With this Oscar-winning performance Denzel basically shows why he is one of the best actors in showbiz today. Also, it would be a crime (no pun intended) to not mention Ethan Hawke, who is very wispy-wispy with his character, but still is not one-note. You can see he wants to do the right thing, but just doesn’t know how to against this crazy cop.

I felt like the script could have been a lot better especially towards the end. The whole film was a crime thriller, where the ending started to turn into something else. The dialogue through the whole movie is witty, fresh, and also realistic, but doesn’t convey any real emotion into what these people are feeling. The ending also ruined it for me, mostly because what could have been effective and great, turns out to be a complete bummer.

Consensus: Training Day has a completley out-of-hand story with a bad ending, but features a great direction from Fuqua, and terrific performances from Hawke and most of Denzel, who proves why he is the man.



  1. Awesome movie, and incredible performances. I’m a huge fan of Denzel, and Ethan Hawk is so underused, he just flies under the radar but is so talented.

  2. Denzel Washington is the perennial good guy, the actor who I feel would always be genial. So to see him play this horrifying villain was just made all the more frightening.

  3. Ethan Hawke, bright eyed and innocent, reports to his training officer for his first day on the job in narcotics in the LAPD. He never could have fathomed just how much he would learn on that very first Training Day.

    His training officer is Denzel Washington, a thirteen year veteran on the police who’s put in a few years in plainclothes in Narcotics. He certainly has the experience, but just what kind of experience and what he imparts to Hawke is the subject of Training Day.

    A film like Training Day will rise and fall with the performances of these two characters since one or the other and mostly both is on screen from the beginning. Fortunately both Washington and Hawke complement each other’s performances like jigsaw puzzle fit.

    It is no accident that Denzel Washington won his second Oscar, his first as Best Actor. This performance is working on so many levels it’s astonishing. Washington is at all times, charming, capable, corrupt, violent, street smart, and arrogant. What I liked most about it is how the various facets of this character are revealed bit by bit to the audience and to Hawke though not at the same time.

    As for Ethan Hawke it takes him to realize just exactly what he’s dealing with in a training officer. Hawke was nominated himself as Best Supporting Actor, but lost to Jim Broadbent for Iris. Still it remains his career role so far.

    Corruption in the Los Angeles Police Department isn’t exactly a new story. In fact one of the supporting players, Scott Glenn who plays a drug peddler and well, did another film about LAPD corruption in Extreme Justice. LA Confidential also dealt with this issue recently, another fine film.

    Denzel Washington is a great example in this film of the arrogance of power. He’s a guy who dispenses more street justice than going through the traditional system. So with what happens to him here, he gets one of the best comeuppances ever seen on the big screen.

    And I won’t say what it is, but you’ve got to see Training Day to find out.

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