Training Day is a 2001 crime drama film directed by Antoine Fuqua, written by David Ayer, starring Denzel Washington, Ethan Hawke, and Eva Mendes. The film follows two LAPD narcotics detectives over a 24-hour period in the gang neighborhoods of South and East Los Angeles.
The film was a box office success and earned mostly positive critical appraisals. Washington's performance, a departure from his usual roles, was particularly praised, and earned him a Academy Award for Best Actor at the 74th Academy Awards. This film was the debut of R&B singer Grammy-winner Macy Gray as an actress.
The film follows a single day in the life of an LAPD cop, Jake Hoyt (Hawke), who is scheduled to be evaluated by Detective Alonzo Harris (Washington), a highly decorated LAPD narcotics officer who could advance Jake's career. In Alonzo's car, the pair of officers observe teenage Mara Salvatrucha members dealing drugs in a park. Instead of arresting the buyers, Alonzo confiscates the drugs and tells Jake to take a hit from the marijuana. Jake initially refuses, but Alonzo puts a gun to his head and says Jake's failure to use drugs could get him killed by a street dealer. Jake relents and smokes the marijuana, but shortly thereafter, Alonzo tells him the marijuana was laced with PCP. While driving, Jake notices a female high school student being sexually assaulted by two men in an alley. Jake jumps out to help her and subdues the attackers, but Alonzo refuses to report the incident. He tells the girl to leave, telling Jake that the girl's gang member (Sureño) cousin will seek the attackers out for revenge. Jake discovers the girl's wallet on the ground and takes it. Jake objects to Alonzo's use of vigilante "street justice," but Alonzo characterizes Jake as naive.
Alonzo and Jake then go to a drug supplier's home and serve a phony search warrant, which is a cover for Alonzo to steal drug money. Jake again objects to Alonzo's actions, especially since it could have gotten them killed. The duo then arrive at Baldwin Village to visit Alonzo's Salvadoran girlfriend Sara (Eva Mendes) and their young son. Afterward, Alonzo meets with the "Three Wise Men": Stan Gursky (Tom Berenger) of the District Attorney's office who investigates all police shootings; Detective Doug Rosselli (Harris Yulin) of the Theft/White Collar Crimes Unit; and Captain Lou Jacobs (Raymond J. Barry). They tell Alonzo that they know he owes money to the Russian Mafia. Alonzo gets permission from the Wise Men to "cash in on an account" with the caveat to avoid a scandal. Alonzo then puts the $40,000 he took from Sandman's house into the trunk of a Mercedes-Benz. Alonzo later tells Jake that he had to give the money to the Three Wise Men to obtain an arrest warrant.
Alonzo then takes Jake and several other narcotic officers to the home of Roger (Scott Glenn), a drug dealer and informant the two visited earlier. When they seize several million dollars from underneath the floor of Roger's kitchen, Jake refuses the share the other cops offer him. Alonzo then shoots Roger and his crew arrange the scene to make it appear that Roger fired on Jeff, and that Jake killed Roger in defense of his fellow officers. Jake refuses to lie, and after being threatened seizes Alonzo's gun and a Mexican standoff ensues, with Jake threatening to shoot Alonzo while the other officers threaten to shoot Jake. Alonzo then reveals that the LAPD will run a blood test on Jake following the shooting that will detect the PCP he had smoked earlier. Alonzo offers to have the test results falsified in exchange for Jake's cooperation. Jake reluctantly agrees, and Alonzo again urges Jake to drop his naive view of police work.
Jake and Alonzo later arrive at the home of a Mexican gangster named "Smiley" (Cliff Curtis), who is playing poker with two other gang members. After playing a hand, Jake realizes that Alonzo has abandoned him. Smiley informs Jake of Alonzo's situation: by midnight, Alonzo must pay $1 million to the Russian mob for killing one of their couriers in Las Vegas or be killed himself. Jake tries to escape but is overpowered and dragged into the bathroom to be killed. The men search his pockets, finding the wallet he had picked up earlier, which belongs to Smiley's young cousin. Smiley calls the girl who confirms that Jake defended her against the attackers. In gratitude for protecting his cousin, Smiley lets Jake go, and asks for no hard feelings because it was "just business".
Jake returns to Sara's apartment looking for Alonzo. He attempts to arrest Alonzo, but Alonzo resists and they fight. Jake eventually subdues him, after which the local gang members and residents begin congregating to watch. Alonzo tries to get the crowd on his side by offering a reward to whoever kills Jake, but they allow Jake to walk away with the money. In his escape to LAX, Alonzo is surrounded by Russian hitmen who kill him. The final scene has Jake pulling into his driveway and going home to his wife, Lisa (Charlotte Ayanna), and daughter, while a radio broadcast describes Alonzo's death as occurring honorably while "serving a high-risk warrant near LAX."
Cast overview, first billed only:
Denzel Washington ... Det. Alonzo Harris
Ethan Hawke ... Jake Hoyt
Scott Glenn ... Roger
Tom Berenger ... Stan Gursky
Harris Yulin ... Doug Rosselli
Raymond J. Barry ... Lou Jacobs
Cliff Curtis ... Smiley
Dr. Dre ... Paul
Snoop Dogg ... Blue
Macy Gray ... Sandman's Wife
Charlotte Ayanna ... Lisa
Eva Mendes ... Sara Harris (as Eva Mendez)
Nick Chinlund ... Tim
Jaime Gomez ... Mark (as Jaime P. Gomez)
Raymond Cruz ... Sniper
Directed by Antoine Fuqua
Produced by Bruce Berman
Written by David Ayer