On his first day on the job as an undercover narcotics officer Jake Hoyt is paired up with L.A.P.D. narcotics veteran Alonzo Harris, and as the day moves on he begins to question Alonzo's methods for ridding the streets of... more » drugs and criminals.
Anthony D. from BROOKLYN, NY Reviewed on 6/15/2012...
terrible, boring, and depressive movie
0 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
Rachel C. (rackoflamb) Reviewed on 11/24/2009...
Amazing performance by Denzel in an unexpected role.
1 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
Rosemary M. (Rose) Reviewed on 2/24/2009...
I really like Denzel Washington EXCEPT for the bad guy he plays in this one. Definitely not a chick flick but great for the guy who needs action to stay awake during a movie. Ending was awesome but I'll not give it away. :)
1 of 3 member(s) found this review helpful.
Sarah F. (Ferdy63) from DALTON, GA Reviewed on 1/20/2009...
I didn't think Denzel Washington could be convincing as a bad guy but this movie proved me wrong. The movie is the story of a rookie detective's first day on the job with his partner played by Denzel. The rookie is a believer in the police as the preservers of justice and honor but he quickly learns that his partner is not only corrupt but a crime boss in the neighborhood as well. Hawke and Washington are both completely convincing in their roles. This one is not for the kids, though, due to strong language and violence.
4 of 4 member(s) found this review helpful.
Thumbs up for two extremely absorbing performances.
D. Mok | Los Angeles, CA | 03/20/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I must say, my preconceptions about Training Day were all wrong. The trailer I saw in the theatres made it look like a belated ripoff of The Corruptor, while director Antoine Fuqua's disastrous fumble with The Replacement Killers several years ago did nothing to boost my confidence.My doubts were dispelled the minute Denzel Washington looked up from his newspaper. It is indeed good to see Washington, one of the most gifted actors of our time, abandon the saintly martyrs he's been prone to playing for 10 years and sink his teeth into a role which allows him to show a mix of deep charisma and dangerous viciousness. That same alchemy had made his breakthrough performance in 1989's Glory amazingly compelling, and in Training Day, there isn't a single moment where Washington is less than completely absorbing. Ethan Hawke also gives the performance of his career as Jake Hoyt, an idealistic but easily swayed young cop who finds himself drawn into a web of corruption, violence, and twisted morals.Fuqua's directing is still overly stylish at times, but after a hyperactive first act, the film begins to roar. David Ayer's script is dazzling, a combination of rat-a-tat street vernacular and relentless forward momentum, and after the midpoint of the movie, the intensity of the scenes would reach incredible levels. And that's when Fuqua's show-offy camerawork finds a raison d'etre. In this film, Fuqua even finds room for some comparatively simple scenes which are really like a breath of fresh air to his filmmaking -- for example, the "you're a leader" car scene, and that beautifully understated ending shot. I hope he makes this part of his regular style, because there's only so much virtuoso camera one can take before it gets tiring, as is the case in the opening of the film.A white-knuckle thriller, well worthy of the accolades it received. I stand humbly corrected on my original predictions."
Washington's "training day" as the bad guy is stunning.
D. Litton | Wilmington, NC | 11/26/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Underneath the warped, vicious ideals held by the main character of "Training Day," there lies a film that is cooly calculated, sinister and intense, and works its audience in ways no other movie has. It's main attraction, no doubt, is the casting of Denzel Washington against type (a tactic that is strikingly impressive), but the movie has the brains, the audacity, and the guts to be more than just a star vehicle with a shocking twist in the casting department. It begins in a mediocre manner, introducing us to rookie cop Jake Hoyt (Ethan Hawke), who is anxious to become a narcotics officer to create a better life for his family. This would partially explain his willingness to stick with detective Alonzo Harris (Washington), whose unethical use of his status as a law officer, and his brutal embracement of street justice, make him more than just a force to be reckoned with. As the story progresses, it begins to resonate into a much more interesting piece of work. Jake's exposure to Alonzo's ethics takes a toll on his subconscious: Alonzo believes everything from indulging in illegal substances to hiring informants who also happen to be dealers... anything to excel as a narcotics officer. His brutality with several offenders of the law (or is it his own law?) serves to unnerve us as we watch the daily events of his life unfold in such a forceful manner. The appeal of the film largely depends on your ability to stomach its various messages, some realistic, others unbelievable. Alonzo believes that in order to attain the trust of your team, you must have a tainted history; much of his beliefs stem from his ideal that if you don't possess a high degree of intimidation, then the streets will kill you. These beliefs pose the audience a very blunt, beckoning question: is it mere movie fantasy, or a wake-up call to reality? That is what makes "Training Day" a remarkable film. It poses this question to us in a straightforward manner, without reserve. Los Angeles is shown in a gritty, hardcore style that is unrelenting in its violent undertones, and shaking in its realistic appearance. The conclusion, a cat-and-mouse chase with some delectable psychological warfare between Jake and Alonzo, abandons the film's ideas rather than offering any easy solution to them, yet manages to create a monumental amount of suspense while not influencing our own decisions about the morals of its characters. The film's cast is its strongest attribute, featuring two stellar performances from Hawke and Washington. Hawke portrays Jake's confusion and question of reality with supreme believability; in effect, his character's disbelief at the events surrounding him rubs off on us. It is Washington's character that keeps this movie at such a feverpitch. Alonzo is easily one of the most complex characters of the year: his intelligence and street smarts are absolutely spellbinding at times, yet when used to propogate his idea of justice, they become chilling. Despite a slow beginning, "Training Day" is an effective drama that provokes thought and discussion. The film's morals are questionable, but that only serves to make one think harder about them. Much will be made of Washington's losing his halo, as well as the corrupt ideals his character follows, but those looking for something different will find this a remarkable turn-around for the actor, who proves his ability as a versatile performer."
Knyte | New York, NY | 10/10/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Roger Ebert considered this movie an "over-the-top" dark comedy, and gave it a thumbs-up. Richard Reoper hated it, saying it was too predictable and simply bad. I strongly disagreed with both of them. Instead, I felt "Training Day" was a disturbingly realistic portrait of life for police officers in the roughest areas of American cities; a place where even the most well intentioned of hearts can become twisted and corrupted by the lure of power, prestige, local fame, and of course -- money. Denzel Washington's performance in this film is convincing...it will scare you. Ethan Hawke was great too. Look out for impressive cameos by Calvin Broadus (better known as Snoop Dogg), Andre Young (better known as Dr. Dre) and Macy Gray. My movie-going experience was only ruined by one thing: the sight of 'suburban' parents irresponsibly bringing their pre-teens (couldn't have been older than 8) to watch this ultra-violent film. What were they thinking? It made me sick. This is a must see, but it definitely won't leave you with a good feeling after you leave the theatre. Thanks for reading...C.H.R."
Blisteringly Brilliant Performances by Washington & Hawke
D. A. Martin | Morocco | 02/17/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"In all honesty, I had grown a bit tired of Denzel Washington's "goodie-two-shoes" roles in recent years, as great as they were. His performance in TRAINING DAY, however, has given me newfound respect for him as an actor. Not only does he play "the bad guy," but he milks it for all its worth - his Alonzo Harris would make Clint Eastwood's DIRTY HARRY look like Barney Fife from "The Andy Griffith Show." The last time I walked out of a movie theater so rattled was after seeing DANTE'S PEAK in the early '90s - mainly for its special effects. In TRAINING DAY, it was Denzel Washington's performance alone that blew me away! The fact that he has recently received his fifth Oscar nomination - and third for Best Actor - should come as no surprise.Kudos also to Ethan Hawke for a great performance and a well-deserved Supporting Actor Oscar nod this year. Any young actor who can hang with the likes of Denzel Washington in a film like this DESERVES recognition. Hawke proves that he has a stellar film career ahead of him.The Academy Awards telecast is March 24, and my money is on both these tremendous performers to come away with well-deserved Oscar gold. TRAINING DAY is a film with no special effects, no colorful cinematography, and no Picasso-esque art direction - just a movie that slaps you upside the hide from start to finish, with two powerhouse performances that stay with you long after the closing credits."
Denzel Washington finally gets to act
Jeffrey Ellis | Richardson, Texas United States | 10/18/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Training Day tells the story of two narcotics officers -- a trainee played by Ethan Hawke and the veteran, played by Denzel Washington, who spends the film's pivotal day educating Hawke in more ways than one. After playing several heroic police officers (in films like Ricochet, Velocity, ect.), Washington is a revelation here as a corrupt, breathtakingly evil figure. Despite the fact that most of the film's publicity has dealt with Washington's "change-of-pace" role, its still jarring to see this actor become so convincingly evil. Its also extremely compelling and serves to remind us that Denzel Washington is one of the best actors working today. Plotwise, the film is uneven. The strongest scenes are the ones dealing with actual streetlife, largely through the casting of authentic gang members and such recognizable icons as Snoop Doggy Dogg and Dr. Dre. Unlike most urban thrillers, you get the feeling that there is actually an authenticity to this film's disturbing vision. Less compelling is the film's eventual inclusion of the Russian Mafia -- it feels a little too conventional and quite simply it just not all that compelling. While I know that many viewers have an instant dislike for any film featuring Ethan Hawke (and I have to admit that I'm amongst those who have yet to forgive him for his "novel" The Hottest State), he's actually an underrated actor and does a fairly convincing job here. At first, its hard to accept the idea of Hawke -- who always seems to be looking for a coffeehouse to read Beat poetry in -- as a young cop but he actually does pull it off and manages not to get overshadowed by Washington. Still, make no mistake about it, this is Denzel Washington's film and the main reason to see the film is his amazing performance.Denzel Washington is one of the best actors working today but, up until his performance in Training Day, it, at times, seemed that he would never get a chance to truly show it. In most of his film, he's been given role meant to play up his nobility and his heroism. He found himself in the same ristrictive position that another strong and intense African-American actor found himself trapped in the late '60s. Like Sidney Poitier, Washington found himself cast in roles where, though his great talent was obvious and certainly he didn't miss a step in his characterization, the roles themselves were limited. Like Poitier, Washington was running the risk of being stereotyped, by good-intentioned liberal, white filmmakers, as the "noble black man." As such, filmgoers seemed to be running the risk of forgetting that Washington could be an unpredictable, slyly humorous actor and that few actors -- black or white -- are as capable of making just plain deviousness and arrogance as attractive and admirable as Washington. His earlier performances in the films Power, A Soldier's Story, and Mo' Better Blues as well as the TV series St. Elsewhere stand as testaments to that. Luckily, Training Day allows Washington to show us just how could an actor he is. His performance truly holds the film together and gives it a power that it might not otherwise have."