Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Training Day

In “Training Day”, Denzel Washington plays a black narcotics officer named Alonzo Harris, who is showing his new partner, Ethan Hawke (Jake Hoyt). The movie takes place in the course of one day in the Los Angles area. As the movie progresses, Hoyt begins to learn that Harris is a crooked cop, taking money from people with false warrants to search their house, owing money to Russians. He offers his friendship to Hoyt, but he finds out that there is more to this cop then he sees.

Antoine Fuqua makes this a powerful movie about the underworld that police can be dragged into, and betrayal between Hoyt and Harris. Utilitarian views are presented by Washington’s character by doing smaller crimes and framing people, such as the man who he shoots with the shotgun, and prevents him from further selling drugs to people, or his Hispanic informant who tips him off when a drug deal is coming through. Denzel essentially sets up the day so that Hoyt will be unable to do anything, because if he shoots him after the corrupt raid, they will test his blood and find PCP.

The buddy cop elements are prevalent in this film, such as the element of humor early in the beginning, a moment of bonding, the classic bi-racial team of Harris and Hoyt, and a shoot out. This is an unusual movie because the two officers fall apart and eventually end up trying to kill each other. The movie ends with Hoyt taking down Harris, who escapes, only to be killed by the people who he was trying to pay off for killing one of their men in Las Vegas. Where the traditional cop films have the two officers getting closer together, Fuqua has them drawn apart from their different beliefs, which was what originally brought them to the force to begin with. The irony is that these two officers swore to fight crime, but one is ethical and wants to do the right thing, while the other is even willing to sacrifice his partner and commit crimes to bring people to his form of justice.


Blogger Madeline Obler said...

I liked what you said about the irony of the situation. One cop is ethical and the other is not. In many of the other cop films we have watched, the man who breaks the rules and does things unconventionally ends up being right in the end. "Training Day" was completely opposite. The man (Hoyt) who did the right thing ended up on top (to a certain degree) in the end.

3:02 PM  
Blogger Vladigogo said...

Is Alonzo as altruistic in his bad behavior as you suggest?

How reliable a source is Alonzo in what he tells us? Can we trust him in what he says about the people he has busted?

Everything we see during this day suggests every single action is egoistic and not utilitarian.

7:08 PM  
Blogger Emily Wilson said...

Alonzo really is a man that you cant trust. As Hayden said you cant trust him because he would turn against you in a minute if it will get him ahead of the game. He is not really thinking about protecting others like cops are suppose to. Instead he is a cop so he is able to get away with thing that others cant. So maybe he really has not busted as many people as he says. Jake has to learn the hard way that Alonzo is a cop crosses the line in the wrong kind of way

7:58 PM  

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