Call it the Scarface of the new millennium.
The crime-thriller, Training Day, directed by Antoine Fuqua, was released 20 years ago this month and it still holds its shine two decades later.
The 2001 film tackles the common theme of good and evil in an uncommon yet entertaining way. The roughly two-hour film is set over the period of a day in Los Angeles. Detective Alonzo Harris, played by Denzel Washington, takes rookie detective Jake Hoyte, played by Ethan Hawke, on a crossroads journey of morals.
The performances of the two main actors are one of the reasons the film is held in high regard. Washington won his second Best Actor Oscar in 2002 and Ethan Hawke was nominated for best supporting actor. The chemistry gets built from the start when the pair meet in a diner and the slick talking, vulgar language of detective Alonzo Harris sets the tone for the movie.
The movie has a great mix of dialogue, action and suspense which keeps the viewer’s attention from start to finish. The memorable lines as well as the different dilemmas of the characters give a balance to those who may not be all that into crime or action movies.The film being set on just one day makes the events easy to follow. The script is full of witty lines and quotes. Some of the most recognizable moments of the movie are still popular outside of movie circles, from memes to quotes from characters.
With any film there are critiques. It does come off as a lot of action for the time frame it is held in at times and to some it may seem slightly rushed.
Also, the vulgar language along with, brief scenes of nudity, violence and drug use make this film an unsuitable watch for young kids but to be fair most crime-thrillers are not kid-friendly.
This was one of the best films of the early 2000’s and it holds up well with the top films of other eras past and present.
Training Day goes on a day’s journey of corruption, karma and survival. When you strip away the action of the movie you’re left to question the decisions of life and how far we’re willing to bend our morals to get what we desire.
With all the elements of a great crime thriller Training Day is a must-watch for fans of crime movies and movie lovers in general.
Without giving away too much, the movie can be summed up in this quote by Alonzo, “You gotta decide if you’re a wolf or a sheep.”