Training Day (2001) Review


Jake a rookie cop is making the transition to become a narcotics officer in Los Angeles spending the day with detective Alonzo who seems to be going too rogue and forgetting his purpose.


Training Day is a prime example of how performances can really drive a film forward and be the best thing about it. Jake is about to see that life on the streets is not going to be as straight forward as he first thought. In LA and a city that is overrun by drug dealers Alonzo has a very unique way of “dealing” with them. He is supposed to be upholding the law but as Jake witnesses he constantly breaks the law for his own benefit and this is something that pushes your thinking on what the limits are for police to stay safe when working in this kind of environment.

Over the period of the day, which must be the worst possible training day imaginable, Jake is forced to take drugs and drink while on the job. He didn’t really have much choice with the crazed Alonzo pointing a gun at his head! It makes you truly shocked to see his treatment of a fellow officer and some of the situations that he leaves Jake in is truly horrendous.

Denzel Washington won his Best Actor in a Leading Role Oscar for his performance in this film and given this is the second time I have seen the film I can fully confirm it is more than deserved he is off the wall from start to finish. Truly outstanding and that is always good to see being rewarded. He has been one of my favourite actors for a long time and this role is very different to any other you will see from the great man. Ethan Hawke had to put in an equally as good performance which he more than does, so they work off each other and it creates amazing chemistry and tension on screen. I was quite surprised to see that they managed to put Hawke in for supporting actor though when I would argue they are both leads?

We get a small role from Eva Mendes and she is decent, but not given much screen time but slightly more than a cameo. We do get cameos from Dr. Dre, Macy Gray and my personal favourite scene with Snoop Dogg.

A film all about the performances rather than the actual plot and story as in natural fact it is a little bit thin, we don’t really get any twists or anything shocking as with the way the characters are it is pretty expected. That is by no means a bad thing as this relies heavily on both Washington and Hawke which is good to watch. It does make you wonder how police in the tough areas really act in order to keep themselves safe as well as trying to prevent crime. How long and hard would they have to be pushed in order for the lines to be blurred and commit crimes themselves?

4 thoughts on “Training Day (2001) Review

  1. Nice review. I agree. Performances, I think, are a bit better than the film, which is a bit of a bog-standard millennial cop thing. Find it weird that it troubled the Oscars quite so much, but hard to argue with Denzel getting awards.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Oh totally! With the performances being so good thats how I still gave it 4 stars, crazy that Hawke was down as supporting though I actually felt he had more screen time than Denzel!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. The rationalizing of Denzel’s character and his switches from good guy to bad guy are something that amaze me every time I watch. We see a lot of movies on crooked cops and I feel like Training Day took a really unique approach to get us in their brains.


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