Jake Hoyt (Ethan Hawke) wants to become a LAPD narc agent, stop narcs from selling drugs on the streets. But that might be hard as he works with LAPD narc agent Alonzo Harris (Denzel Washington) for the next 24 hours. Alonzo is an LAPD veteran who has been working the narcs for over a decade, but his ways and techniques of becoming a narc agent are questionable, if not corrupt. As the 24 hours go by, Jake observes Alonzo's methods, and in the madness, Jake tries to solve all the twists and turns, trying to figure out who really is the enemy here.
Jake Hoyt, Ethan Hawke, is excited about his first day as a member of the LAPD drug squad and the fact that he`s been assigned to veteran Detective Sergeant Alonzo Harris, Denzel Washington. But Jake quickly discovers that Harris makes his own rules and expects the newcomer to fall in line. Jake`s training day, under Harris` tutelage, quickly turns into a nightmare.
Training Day, which was written by David Ayer and directed by Antoine Fuqua, is a devastating depiction of police corruption. Alonzo Harris is one of those apparently dedicated police officers who`s become so close to the drug dealers he`s supposed to be bringing to justice that he`s no better, and actually a lot worse, than they are. Ayer`s screenplay forcefully shows how this state of affairs can occur, using the naive Hoyt to show how a newcomer to the drug squad is expected to toe the line, to become part of the culture, to condone the excesses of his fellow police officers and, ultimately, to break the law.
For much of its length, Training Day is frighteningly real, and Denzel Washington`s commanding performance - some of his best work so far on the screen - has a lot to do with the film`s success. Impressive, too, is the location photography by Mauro Fiore.
It`s a pity that, in the later stages, the film succumbs to more conventional plotting and an excess of violence, which mars an otherwise seriously intentioned and surprisingly thoughtful examination of the roots of police corruption.