“Training Day” (2001) directed by Antoine Fuqua, screenplay by David Ayer, starring Denzel Washington & Ethan Hawke / Z-View

Training Day (2001)

Director: Antoine Fuqua

Screenplay: David Ayer

Stars: Denzel Washington, Ethan Hawke, Scott Glenn, Tom Berenger, Harris Yulin, Raymond J. Barry, Cliff Curtis, Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Macy Gray, Eva Mendes, Nick Chinlund, Jaime Gomez, Raymond Cruz, Noel Gugliemi, Samantha Esteban, David Ayer, Peter Greene and Terry Crews.

Tagline: The only thing more dangerous than the line being crossed, is the cop who will cross it.

The Plot…

It’s L.A. police officer Jake Hoyt’s (Hawke) training day.  Hoyt has been teamed with the highly decorated narcotics Detective Alonzo Harris (Washington).  Hoyt badly wants the promotion.  He’s about to discover that Detective Harris is a cop who will cross any lines to make a bust.  Very quickly Harris makes it clear that is the expectation for Hoyt if he is to get promoted to the team.

Hoyt is hesitant at first, but is slowly seduced by Detective Harris’ reputation, charisma and results. As the shift continues, Hoyt learns something that puts his life at risk.  What do you do when your partner/mentor is worse than the gangbangers you’re after?

Thoughts (beware of spoilers)…

Both of Training Days leads were nominated for Academy Awards with one winning…

  • Academy Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role – Denzel Washington (winner)
  • Academy Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role nominee – Ethan Hawke

Ethan Hawke had more screen time than Denzel Washington, yet was nominated for an Academy Award in the Supporting Role category.

Training Day was originally set up to be directed by Davis Guggenheim, starring Samuel L. Jackson and Matt Damon.

Actors reportedly considered for Jake Hoyt included Tobey Maguire, Eminem, Paul Walker, Freddy Prinze Jr., Ryan Phillippe, Christian Bale, Mark Wahlberg and Scott Speedman.

Antoine Fuqua filmed in real gang locations. Real gang members from Rollin’ 60 Crips, PJ Watts Crips, and B. P. Stones (a Bloods set) appear on-screen.

The coffee shop where Washington and Hawke first meet has been used in several movies including Se7en, Gone in 60 Seconds, Ghost World, and Catch Me If You Can.

Lights Out (2024) rates 5 of 5 stars.