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  • Writer's pictureThomas Duncan

Training Day (2001) ft. Walter Gainer

Updated: Oct 12, 2022

Guest: Walter Gainer II, Host of the Boss Locks podcast and Found of Boss Locks Media (

What is this movie is about?/Elevator Pitch: A rookie beat cop trying to make detective learns what it really takes to be a detective in the LAPD.

Plot Summary: Seeking a change from his quiet beat in suburban Los Angeles, Jake Hoyt (Ethan Hawke) is assigned to the narcotics division of the LAPD which polices some of the roughest and most violent areas of LA. His trainer is Detective Sergeant Alonzo Harris (Denzel Washington), a 13-year narcotics veteran who has long since blurred the line between legality and corruption. With Harris as his guide, Hoyt will be pulled ever deeper into Harris’ world, and will be forced to choose his future path.


  • Antoine Fuqua, Director

  • David Ayer, Writer

  • Denzel Washington as Detective Alonzo Harris

  • Ethan Hawke as Officer Jake Hoyt

  • Scott Glenn as Roger

  • Eva Mendes as Sara

  • Cliff Curtis as "Smiley"

  • Raymond Cruz as "Sniper"

  • Noel Gugliemi as Moreno

  • Dr. Dre as Detective Paul

  • Peter Greene as Detective Jeff

  • Nick Chinlund as Detective Tim

  • Jaime P. Gomez as Detective Mark

  • Snoop Dogg as "Blue"

  • Macy Gray as Sandman's Wife

  • Harris Yulin as Detective Doug Rosselli

  • Tom Berenger as Detective Stanley "Stan" Gursky

  • Raymond J. Barry as Captain Lou Jacobs


  • Training Day opened on October 5, 2001.

  • The film opened at number one, grossing $24.2 million. In its second week of release, the film grossed $13.4 million, staying at the number one position. The film stayed in the top-ten box office until the seventh week of release, landing at number 12. With an estimated budget of $45 million, Training Day ultimately grossed $76.6 million in the US and $104.9 million worldwide.

  • Training Day was nominated for two Academy Awards for Best Supporting Actor (Hawke) and winning Best Actor for Denzel Washington.

  • The film currently holds a 73% on RT, a 69 score on Metacritic, and a 3.8 out of 5 on Letterboxd.

  • In June 2003, the American Film Institute named Alonzo Harris the 50th greatest screen villain of all time in its list AFI's 100 Years...100 Heroes & Villains.

  • Training Day received a subsequent TV series from CBS in 2017, but was abruptly cancelled after star Bill Paxton suddenly passed away.

  • Currently, Warner Bros. is producing and in the process of filming a prequel film that would take place with Det. Alonzo Harris just days before the Rodney King verdict named Training Day: Day of the Riot.

Did You Know:

  • Denzel Washington has frequently said that Detective Alonzo Harris is his favorite character that he's played.

  • Tobey Maguire was seriously considered for the part of Officer Jake Hoyt. He even followed undercover narcotics officers in Los Angeles for two months and gained weight for the role. He was dropped when Ethan Hawke, Fuqua's first choice, was finally available for the shooting schedule.

  • About the casting of Ethan Hawke, Antoine Fuqua said "there's something innocent about Ethan, he's such a nice guy...but there's something in his eyes that tells you he's seen something."

  • The coffee shop in the beginning of the movie (which was, incidentally, the first scene shot) is the same shop that was used in Se7en (1995) in the scene where Morgan Freeman meets Gwyneth Paltrow to talk. In the window in both movies, the writing reads "Quality Cafe". The Quality Cafe is also used in Gone in 60 Seconds (2000), Ghost World (2001), and Catch Me If You Can (2002).

  • The license plate on Alonzo's car is "ORP 967," a nod to Officer Rafael Perez, the disgraced L.A.P.D. officer who was born in 1967, and on whom the character was based.

  • The film had several police technical advisors. Among them is Detective-Sergeant Brian Davis, an L.A.P.D. veteran who is one of the most respected and decorated officers of the infamous elite Special Investigation Section.

  • With his Best Actor Oscar win for this film, Denzel Washington became the first black actor to win two acting Academy Awards.

  • Alonzo's car is a 1979 Chevy Monte Carlo, with some modifications: it has Dayton wire wheels with bullet caps; a Grant steering wheel; a Flowmaster exhaust; and hydraulics. Added to this, the car is outfitted with a sunroof, which that era's Monte Carlo never had.

  • Roger's snail joke he tells Jake symbolically means the man represents the streets and the snail represents just another random person falling victim to the streets. The size difference between the two represents how big "the streets" are and how small we are. The big guy kicks this little tiny helpless snail and breaks his shell showing how easy it is for the streets to tear you up. The joke means that street life will run you over and tear you to pieces and won't even remember (or care) the next second. You're just another victim (a tiny snail in the way). No matter who you are or what you've been through, on the streets, you're just another person. When the snail comes back, the man (the streets) doesn't give him any respect. The streets will tear you up and not think twice. Don't expect any respect in the street regardless of who you are or what you've been through.

Best Performance: Denzel Washington (Alonzo)

Best Secondary Performance: Ethan Hawke (Jake)/Snoop Dogg (Blue)

Most Charismatic Award: Denzel Washington (Alonzo)/Eva Mendes (Sara)

Best Scene:

  • Breakfast and the Paper

  • PCP

  • Alley Mugging

  • Chasing Blue

  • The Three Wise Men

  • Returning to Roger's

  • Smiley

  • Arresting Alonzo

Favorite Scene: Breakfast and the Paper/Returning to Roger's/PCP

Most Indelible Moment: Arresting Alonzo

In Memorium:

Best Lines/Funniest Lines:

Alonzo: [while driving in his Monte Carlo] Today's a training day, Officer Hoyt. Show you around, give you a taste of the business. I got 38 cases pending trial, 63 in active investigations, another 250 on the log I can't clear. I supervise five officers. That's five different personalities. Five sets of problems. You can be number six if you act now. But I ain't holding no hands, okay? I ain't baby-sitting. You got today and today only to show me who and what you're made of. You don't like narcotics, get the fuck out of my car. Go get you a nice, pussy desk job, chasing bad checks or something, you hear me?

Alonzo Harris: You gotta hide that love deep inside you.

Alonzo Harris: May I read my paper?

Jake Hoyt: I'm sorry, sir, I...

Alonzo Harris: Thank you.

Jake Hoyt: You know what, I'll get something to eat.

Alonzo Harris: No. Hell no you won't, you fucked that up. I'm trying to read my paper. Please, shut up.

Jake Hoyt: I sure won't mind roasting in a black-and-white all day.

Alonzo Harris: Tell me a story, Hoyt.

Jake Hoyt: My story?

Alonzo Harris: No, not your story. A story. Because you can't keep your mouth shut long enough for me to read my paper. Tell me a story.

Jake Hoyt: I don't think I know any stories.

Alonzo Harris: You don't know any stories? Okay, I'll tell you a story. This is a newspaper. It's 90 per cent bullshit, but it's entertaining. That's why I read it, because it entertains me. You won't let me read it, so you entertain me with your bullshit. Tell me a story, right now.

Alonzo Harris: What a day. What a motherfuckin' day.

Alonzo Harris: [to Jake] This shit's chess, it ain't checkers!

Alonzo Harris: Nobody told you to smoke that thing. You made the decision. Live with your decision. Ain't like I put a gun to your head.

Alonzo Harris: Hey. First dom who puts one in his head... I'll make you a rich man. C'mon now, who wanna get paid? Who wanna get paid?

Jake Hoyt: They're not like you. You wanna know what I learned today? I'm not like you.

Alonzo Harris: That's good, Jake. Glad to hear it. Good... so what you gonna do know, you gonna shoot me? You gonna bust yo' cherry killin' a cop?

[pulls out badge]

Alonzo Harris: There it is, Jake, hit me. You ain't never killed anybody before, have you? It ain't like steppin' on ants, Jake. It takes a man to kill... you man enough to kill, Jake?

Jake: [after meeting with the Three Wise Men] How much money was in that bag?

Alonzo: 40 G's.

Jake: What was that for?

Alonzo: You really wanna know?

Jake: Yeah. I asked, didn't I?

Alonzo: Nothing's free in this world, Jake. Not even arrest warrants.

Jake: Shit, I didn't wanna know.

Jake Hoyt: [after repeatedly punching Detective Harris] It's no fun when the rabbit has the gun, is it?

Jake Hoyt: Look man, I got a wife.

Alonzo Harris: You got a dick. You do have a dick, don't you? Okay, the dick lines up straight like that right? To the right of it and to the left of it are pockets, right? In those pockets are money. Look in either one of 'em, pay the bill.

Alonzo Harris: [to Jake] To protect the sheep you gotta catch the wolf, and it takes a wolf to catch a wolf.

Jake Hoyt: So, where's the office? Back at division?

Alonzo Harris: You're in the office, baby.

The Stanley Rubric:

Legacy: 7.33

Impact/Significance: 8.16

Novelty: 7.33

Classic-ness: 9

Rewatchability: 7.83

Audience Score: 8.95 (90% Google, 89% RT)

Total: 48.6

Remaining Questions:

  • Where does Jake Hoyt go from here?

  • What happens to The Three Wise Men or the other cops in Alonzo's division?

  • Did Alonzo pick Jake specifically for this assignment?

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