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Film / Training Day

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"I'm the Police! I run shit here, you just live here! ... King Kong ain't got shit on me!"
Alonzo Harris

Training Day is a 2001 Neo-Noir crime film directed by Antoine Fuqua and starring Denzel Washington and Ethan Hawke.

The film focuses on young and naive LAPD officer Jake Hoyt (Hawke), who is undergoing a single-day evaluation by the renowned and respected narcotics detective Alonzo Harris (Washington). Harris lets Hoyt step into his "office" (car) and takes him on a 24-hour ride through the drug-infested neighborhoods and gang territories of South Los Angeles. Hoyt is quickly exposed to the darker side of police duty, as he comes to realize Harris' methods make him not so different from the criminals he pursues.

Denzel Washington won the Best Actor Academy Award—making him only the second black man ever to win the award, following Sidney Poitier for Lilies of the Field nearly four decades earlier in 1963. Ethan Hawke was nominated for Best Supporting Actor.

A short-lived TV series adaptation, set fifteen years after the film, aired on CBS in 2017. In 2022 a Prequel film, Training Day: Day of the Riot, was announced. It will focus on Alonzo Harris during the 1992 Los Angeles Riots.


  • Affably Evil:
    • Roger, Alonzo's drug contact, is really friendly and genial and is in fact a long-time friend of Alonzo. In fact, Jake's opinion of Alonzo sours completely when Alonzo kills Roger, and takes his money. Alonzo justifies himself by pointing out to Jake that however friendly he was with Roger, he was still a feared drug lord.
    • The Latino Gangbangers that Alonzo and Jake visit reveal that were hired by Alonzo to get rid of Jake. They play cards with Jake, and though it's a Batman Gambit, the latter decides to let him go for saving his cousin earlier in the film, revealing that it was Nothing Personal.
  • AM/FM Characterization: The potheads that Alonzo and Jake bust in the car are listening to "Last Resort" by Papa Roach rather than the gangsta rap or Latino music preferred by real residents of the hood.
  • Arc Words:
    • "Do you wanna go to jail or do you wanna go home?"
    • Also, "It's not what you know, it's what you can prove."
    • Alonzo's wolf and sheep analogy.
  • Artistic License – Gun Safety: When the Russians kill Alonzo with a hail of bullets, one of their own is in the car right behind Alonzo.
  • Asshole Victim: Roger. While he was set up and murdered in cold blood by Alonzo in what's effectively an armed robbery, Alonzo points out to Jake afterwards that Roger had been LA's biggest drug dealer for over a decade, and that his customers included kids.
    • Alonzo himself at the end is this.
  • Bad Boss: Alonzo is this to his subordinates and the neighborhoods he operates in. This makes them abandon his ass when the chips are down.
  • Batman Gambit:
    • Alonzo's whole master plan doesn't begin, until after he convinces Jake to take drugs — which he would later use for leverage against him. He also notices that Hoyt has a bad need to impress and uses it for all it's worth.
    • Smiley and his friends talk Jake into showing them his gun. After he takes out all the bullets, then they make their intention to kill him known. Also, at the beginning of the film Alonzo asks Jake if he carries a backup, Jake tells him he doesn't. Later in the film, Alonzo probably tells his buddies Jake is only carrying the one weapon, so they know they only have to get the one before they kill him.
  • Big Bad: Alonzo Harris. The entire plot is because of him killing a courier for the Russian Mafiya, and the "training day" with Jake is a means of securing the money to pay them off and set up Jake as his fall guy.
  • Bilingual Bonus: Alonzo speaks to his son in Spanish:
    • "Como esta, mijo? Te portas bien? Esta creciendo, papasito". ("How are you, son? Are you being good? You are growing up, handsome man").
    • "Mijo, no llores. Ven aqui, mijo. Vente no llores. Escucha a tu papi. ("Son, don’t cry. Come here, son. Come here, don’t cry. Listen to your father").
  • Black Comedy:
    • Alonzo forces Jake at gunpoint to take a hit of marijuana near the beginning of the film. Jake later has a Mushroom Samba episode, when he finds out that it was laced with PCP. Jake immediately regrets taking it, while Alonzo deadpans, "You're an adult, you're responsible for your own actions. Ain't like I put a gun to your head".
    • After Alonzo robs the girlfriend of a drug lord, her angry tirade alerts a nearby group of Crips to shoot at the officers. Alonzo tries to start the car quickly, but they manage to shoot the back window. Alonzo is visibly annoyed since he took a great deal of pride in what is a very nice car and immediately steps out to return fire with dual pistols.
    • The scene where Jake shoots Alonzo in the buttocks while he attempts to grab a gun.
  • Book Ends: Near the beginning of the film, Alonzo and Jake cut off a bunch of college kids who bought some marijuana. This move is also used against Alonzo at the end of the film when The Mafiya cut him off and execute him with prejudice.
  • Bowdlerize: From the trailer: "King Kong ain't got NOTHING on me!"
  • Broken Pedestal: Alonzo is this to Jake.
  • Bulletproof Vest: Subverted, as one of Alonzo's partners takes a bullet to the vest that pierces it and wounds him.
  • But for Me, It Was Tuesday: The "snail joke" that Roger tells Jake has shades of this.
  • Can Always Spot a Cop: Alonzo drives up to a street drug dealer and instructs Jake to try to buy some drugs. It doesn't matter that Jake looks dirty and shlubby, or that they're driving up in Alonzo's Cool Car, the dealer isn't fooled for an instant and identifies Jake as a cop. Not that Jake made it particularly difficult, as his awkward and hesitant way of asking, and the fact that he asks for "crack" instead of a street name tips the dealer off.
    Blue: What you need, homey?
    Jake: Crack. 20 bucks' worth.
    Blue: Crack? Smells like bacon in this muthafucka. What I look like, a sucka to you, nigga? Fuck you, rookie.
  • Celebrity Paradox: "Still D.R.E." plays as Alonzo and Jake take off on the beat for the day. Both Dr. Dre AND Snoop Dogg show up in this movie as a cop and a paraplegic crack dealer, respectively.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The wallet Jake picks up after preventing the young girl from being raped turns out to be very handy when Alonzo abandons him in a house with three dangerous Gangbangers, the leader of whom turns out to be the girl's cousin.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: The actual girl. When she shouts at the attempted rapists about how her cousins would fuck them up, she wasn't kidding.
  • The Chessmaster: Alonzo put a lot of effort into getting the Mafiya off his back.
    Jake: "You've been planning this all day?"
    Alonzo: "I've been planning it all week, son!"
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: Alonzo.
  • Cloud Cuckoo Lander: The rather eccentric Sniper comes across this way. But it's soon apparent he's nowhere near harmless.
  • Cluster F-Bomb: 211 instances of the word is heard throughout the film.
  • Contrived Coincidence: One of the gangsters Alonzo assigns to kill Jake just happens to be related to the girl Jake saved from rapists in a random encounter earlier in the movie.
  • Cool Car: Alonzo's 1979 Chevy Monte Carlo, complete with hydraulics.
  • The Corrupter: Virtually every police officer is corrupt and not at all shy about extortion, robbery, and murder. The DA's team is not that much better.
  • Cowboy Cop: Alonzo Harris is one of the rare truly villainous examples. He's long become more extreme than even the gangsters he fights, but the reason he's kept around by his superiors (the three wise men) despite his personal corruption is that he catches a lot of bad guys. Alonzo himself claims he is only going after the big fish in the drug trade; he has 38 cases pending trial, 63 active investigations, 350 log cases he has yet to clear, and is supervising five other officers besides Hoyt.
  • Dirty Cop:
    • Alonzo's modus operandi. Observe the scene in which he roughs up Snoop Dogg's character. Later, he casually boasts that he was the one who put Snoop Dogg in a wheelchair. The entire day turns out to be a result of Alonzo's dirty ways, specifically he beat a member of the Russian Mafiya to death and he has until the end of the day to make good by paying $1 million or be killed.
    • The rest of Alonzo's team are perfectly fine with murder and robbery as well, as well as killing Jake if he doesn't get on board.
    • The movie implies that the whole system is corrupt, with the "3 Wise Man" needing a bribe to approve an arrest warrant. Alonzo also mentions that they get alerted on upcoming drug tests, implying both that cops are regularly using banned substances and that there are higher ups willing to help them to avoid the consequences.
  • Disappearing Bullets: The result of a shootout after "searching" a house in the ghetto is a back window with a few bullet holes. There is no visible damage done to the vehicle anywhere else, or to the occupants who should have been included in their trajectory.
  • Establishing Character Moment:
    • Seconds after he and Jake meet face-to-face, Alonzo gets extremely pissed at Jake for interrupting his newspaper reading. When he demands Jake entertain him with a story, he focuses almost entirely on the fact that Jake's partner for a particular DUI stop was a woman who Jake never had sex with than the fact that the stop prevented a murder. Alonzo is a self-centered hothead who doesn't care much about actually enforcing the law.
    • In Jake's first scene - at home with his wife and then talking with Alonzo on the phone - he is both eager and nervous about the plum opportunity he's about to take. He also speaks of commanding his own division someday (and the nice house that comes with the rank). Jake is an ambitious and relatively junior policeman, which makes him seem to be easy prey for Alonzo's corrupting influence. On the other hand, in the very next scene in the diner, Jake's emphasis when telling his story is about saving somebody's life rather than how attractive his female training officer was, showing his priorities differ from Alonzo's.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones:
    • Smiley is very protective of his cousin, and gives off Big Brother Instinct when it comes to her... which is why he refuses to kill Jake when he learns that he saved her from a couple of rapists earlier that day.
    • Possibly subverted in Alonzo's case. At first, it looks like he loves his mistress Sara and his son. However, it's clear there's anything but love in it. His relationship with Sara is just for sex and nothing more and he even treats her as an annoyance at the climax. During the final shootout with Jake he appears to be subtlety manipulating Sara's son to be his Human Shield.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: This is how Smiley, the gang banger that Alonzo hires to kill Jake, feels about Alonzo. And it may be this higher standard that leads him to spare Jake.
    Moreno: Alonzo is a low-down, ruthless vato, eh, but I like that, homes. I like that.
    Smiley: No, that's why I never shake his hand, homes. He don't respect nada.
    • Even Alonzo gets a moment of human compassion when he encounters two would-be rapists, even though he wouldn't have stepped in if Hoyt hadn't gone back to save the girl.
    • Also, it's never made clear if the residents of The Jungle are all convicted felons or if they're just scared of what would happen if they stepped out of line, but in the end, Bone defends Jake as he walks away with Alonzo yelling for him to come back.
    Bone: It's like that.
  • Evil Is Petty: After Alonzo refuses to book in the crackheads/attempted rapists, he spends two minutes harassing and torturing one of them for calling him a "bitch" and telling him to "suck [his] dick."
  • Evil Mentor: Alonzo tries to groom Jake into becoming a Dirty Cop. When Alonzo fails to corrupt Jake, who's willing to stick to his principles, he ultimately sets him up to be killed by a bunch of gangsters.
  • Extremely Short Timespan: The entire movie takes place over about 12 hours.
  • Fatal Flaw: For Alonzo, Wrath. Despite usually been smooth and calculating, his temper often gets the better of him. His killing of a courier for the Mafiya in Las Vegas is what gets him in trouble, and serves as the backbone for the movie's plot. One could argue, Lust as well, since Jake accurately deduces that he would be at his mistress' home, after abandoning Jake to be killed by gangsters.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Alonzo. The DVD synopsis even calls him "twisted but charismatic."
  • Flat "What": Alonzo gives this when Bone walks back to grab his gun, and tells Jake he's free to go, and that he'll take care of things from here, holding Alonzo at gunpoint.
  • Forced Friendly Fire: Jake is trying to bring Alonzo (who's currently unarmed) to justice. But as he's climbing over a railing, Alonzo gets the drop on him and causes Jake's gun to be discharged into the local projects (the Jungle), thereby turning the confrontation into a fistfight. invokedThis act was probably the final straw for the disillusioned people living on that street, considering Alonzo's history of using them for his own needs.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • Two of the first three jobs Alonzo does with Jake involve him stealing money from someone. The next "arrest" turns out to be an excuse to kill a dealer and take his money. Not only that, but Alonzo is in desperate need of money to keep the Russian mob from killing him.
    • When driving through the projects to the house of Alonzo's mistress, Alonzo warns Jake to never come there without him and his protection. Jake ends up going there alone, though Alonzo's subordinates let him through without issue when they realize he's come to take him down.
    • During the same visit to Alonzo's mistress, Alonzo briefly has a friendly-seeming chat with Bone, a gang leader. As soon as Alonzo's out of earshot, Bone tells his crew that he "can't stand that motherfucker!" At the end, when Alonzo offers money to any gang member who'll kill Jake for him, Bone is the one who bluntly informs Alonzo that he's got to do the deed himself.
    • When Jake's high, he says life's about "smiles and cries". He's nearly murdered later by a guy named Smiley. Later in the day, Alonzo cries out to a neighbourhood to cap Jake for him.
    • Roger tells a story about a snail who gets flicked off a man's porch, journey's all the way back, and asks the man what his problem is. Jake does something very similar when Alonzo leaves him with Smiley to get murdered.
  • Frame-Up: Alonzo and the other Narcotics officers discuss how to do this after Roger is killed.
  • The Friend Nobody Likes: All of Alonzo's subordinates dislike being around him.
  • Gangbangers: Specifically those in The Jungle and the house that Alonzo drops Jake off at near the end.
  • Go-Karting with Bowser: Late in the film, audiences are treated to an odd visual of a police officer (Jake) playing cards with a trio of gangsters.
  • Good is Not Nice: Constantly discussed. Alonzo is a raging asshole yet presents himself as a good guy for arresting criminals and putting them in prison. Ultimately, Alonzo isn't nice or good.
  • Good Is Not Soft: Constantly discussed. Alonzo argues that Jake should be prepared to break rules and be a "wolf" so that he can effectively protect the "sheep." But in the process, Alonzo has become what he claims to fight.
  • Groin Attack: Alonzo does this to the crackhead who said "Suck my dick, bitch!", and boy, did it look painful. But considering he tried to rape a teenage girl, it’s hard to feel sorry for him.
  • Guns Akimbo: Alonzo's two Smith & Wesson 4506, combined with Gangsta Style.
  • He Who Fights Monsters: A central premise of the film. In order to survive in the world of gangsters, the cops have to act more like gangsters. Alonzo and his crew have, at some point, become actual gangsters.
  • Hellish L.A.: A city where gangs run amok and the cops are in on it. One of the canonical depictions of gang violence and police corruption in Los Angeles, having been inspired by the real-life Rampart scandal in the LAPD.
  • If You're So Evil, Eat This Kitten!: Alonzo makes Jake smoke pipe PCP to prove that he's fully committed to do whatever it takes to survive on the street. In reality, Alonzo is making sure that Jake can't testify against him later without failing a drug test and getting fired.
  • I Have a Family: Jake shouts this out when he is confronted with three Gangbangers holding a shotgun to his face. It doesn't work by itself, but it does motivate them to check out whether he's telling the truth about his Chekhov's Gun.
  • Insanity Defense: Mentioned by one of the three wise men when he recaps to Alonzo how an off-screen criminal recently got off this way by pulling a stunt in court that made him seem mentally unsound.
  • Insignia Rip-Off Ritual: Jake takes Alonzo's badge, saying, "You don't deserve this."
  • Internal Reformist: This is one of the arguments Alonzo makes to Jake — Yes, the system is corrupt, but if you go along with it you can climb high enough to make changes from the inside.
  • I Own This Town: Alonzo feels this way about The Jungle. The Jungle doesn't feel the same way though.
  • Ironic Echo:
    • Alonzo tells Jake that if he doesn't start getting with the program, he could end up in the news as a dead cop who died in the line of duty, leaving behind his wife and kid. After Alonzo dies, the news report copies almost verbatim what he told Jake.
    • Also, Alonzo loved to say "Do you want to go to jail, or do you want to go home?" to the people he would harsh. In the end, Jake repeated the same line to Alonzo after he took the stolen money from him. More subtly, after using the line with most of the criminals he and Jake encounter, we then hear him say it to fellow cops as they plot to cover up a murder.
    • Jake and Alonzo argue over "street justice" when the latter doesn't even attempt to take in the attempted rapists of a high-school girl, and himself notes that they'll probably be killed by the gangsters she's related to. Alonzo even says that they hope that the "scum sort each out", as it gives the LAPD less work to deal with. It seems out of all the lessons Alonzo taught him, Jake took this one to heart, as by the end, Jake has Alonzo at gunpoint — the latter as much a scumbag as those he fights, when a Gang Banger assures him that they'll deal with him, and he can leave. Jake complies, leaving him to "street justice".
  • It's All About Me: Alonzo thinks that just because he's a policeman, he can do whatever he wants and whatever he pleases.
  • Jerkass: Alonzo is a rather nasty person who often enjoys roughing up his suspects when he wants to.
    • The Three Wise Men are this, with Paul being the biggest one.
  • Kick the Dog: Alonzo makes a habit of doing this.
  • Knight Templar: Alonzo.
  • Large Ham:
    • Alonzo turns his scenery-chewing on and off according to his needs.
    • Also the Gangbangers, homes with the exception of Smiley.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Early in the film, Jake stops the attempted rape of a young girl by two drug addicts. Towards the end, Alonzo has paid a gang member to kill Jake; the gangster ends up letting him go because the girl was his cousin.
  • Let Me Tell You a Story: Alonzo's friend Roger decides to tell Jake a joke. He tells him about a snail that gets thrown off some guy's porch into the backyard and nearly dies. After about a year, the man encounters the snail on his porch again, and asks it "What the fuck's your problem!?" Jake laughs until he sees Roger and Alonzo's serious expressions and realizes that it isn't a joke at all. Roger tells him that when he figures the joke out, he'll figure the streets out.note 
  • Machiavelli Was Wrong: The residents of the Jungle housing project hate Alonzo, but are kept in line becuase they fear what he can do to them. They eventually turn on him in favor of Jake, whom they respect for being honorable and taking care of his own business.
  • The Mafiya: Alonzo is in big with them for attacking and killing an important member of theirs in Las Vegas and is given until midnight on Tuesday to come up with a million dollars or he will be executed.
  • Make It Look Like a Struggle: Roger's murder is disguised as the result of a shootout during a drug raid. Alonzo shoots another officer in his bulletproof vestnote  using a "throw down" gun which he places in the hands of Roger's corpse.
  • Man Behind the Man: The Three Wise Men are corrupt members of law enforcement who pull the strings of the underworld.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Alonzo. His whole plan to is to either buy Jake off into cooperating with his plan to kill Roger and steal his money, or set Jake up to look like he got high, killed Roger, then got murdered by gang members.
  • The Mistress: Sara is Alonzo's, and it's implied that he has others as well.
  • Mushroom Samba: After Jake takes the marijuana laced with PCP, he gets one of these.
  • Naïve Newcomer: The majority of this movie concerns Jake's relation to Alonzo as this.
  • Noble Demon: Smiley is a notorious criminal (we don't know what precisely his crimes are though) hired by Alonzo to kill Jake. However, he decides to spare him when he finds out Jake saved his young cousin from being raped. Also, the fact that, as he says, he dislikes Alonzo just as Jake since he (Alonzo) "don't respect nada" implies that Smiley might have some sort of code of honor.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Alonzo delivers a pretty vicious one to Jake in their final fight.
  • No Kill like Overkill: Alonzo gets gunned down in the middle of the street by the Russian mobsters when he fails to deliver their money...with a lot of bullets. Two times. Back to back. From a dozen different semi-automatic rifles.
  • "Not So Different" Remark: More than one character remarks that Alonzo was just like Jake when he was starting out and was equally idealistic about using his position to save the day.
  • Not-So-Harmless Villain: Moreno, one of Smiley's cohorts, comes off as very laid-back, but no less dangerous. In fact, he smashes a beer bottle over Jake's head when the latter tries to escape the house.
  • Nothing Personal: Smiley says this after he spares Jake's life. In this case, it really isn't; Smiley hates the guy who ordered the hit a lot more than the actual victim, towards whom he harbors no particular ill will beyond a general dislike of cops. It's when the target makes it personal that his life is spared—Smiley has to show his gratitude to the guy who rescued his little cousin from a pair of rapists on the street; sticking it to Alonzo is an added bonus.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Sniper comes off as dimwitted and jokey before Jake is captured. After Jake is captured, he is no-nonsense and holds the shotgun on Jake with a laser-like focus.
  • Oh No You Didn't: Alonzo says this before his Villainous Breakdown at the end.
  • One Last Smoke: Alonzo lights up a cigarette before being shot by Jake... in the ass. One scene later, he's killed by The Mafiya.
  • Pet the Dog: After Jake saves the girl from the rapists, Alonzo seems impressed, to the point where he tells a sullen Jake that he did well.
  • Punch-Clock Villain: The three Gangbangers, especially Smiley. It's pretty clear they don't really want to kill Jake, even if he hadn't saved Smiley's little cousin's life, and it's also obvious they don't like Alonzo very much.
  • Rabid Cop: Alonzo.
  • Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil: Played straight with Jake and averted with Alonzo as far as their attitudes.
  • Retirony: During his first appearance, Alonzo's long-time drug contact and friend, Roger, talks about how he plans to retire from the drug dealing business and live the easy life on a beach. He is later setup and killed by Alonzo for the stash of money he was saving for his retirement. Can also count as Death by Irony, since like the joke he told about the snail, he was very close to fulfilling his dream, only to have it taken from him. But unlike the snail, he doesn't get to recover and try again.
  • Reality Is Unrealistic: When the movie came out, many viewers and critics were skeptical of the scenes where Jake Hoyt smokes marijuana laced with PCP and Alonzo's explanation of how a cop who didn't take drugs offered to him on the street would be ID'd as police and murdered. David Ayer responded in an interview by holding up a highlighted section of the LAPD's rules and regulations; it stated that officers were allowed to use narcotics in very specific undercover situations, and hewed closely to what Alonzo told Jake.
  • Revised Ending: An alternate ending had Jake getting a visit from The Three Wise Men.
  • Rooftop Confrontation: The final showdown between Alonzo and Jake occurs on the rooftops of the Jungle housing development.
  • Ruthless Foreign Gangsters: It's mentioned repeatedly that The Mafiya are pissed off at Alonzo for killing one of their own in Las Vegas and they are going to kill him, decorated cop or not. Alonzo thinks that he can buy them off if he gets enough cash, but the Three Wise Men have some serious doubts about it working. When Jake takes away the money, the Russians annihilate Alonzo little under half an hour later.
  • Screw the Money, I Have Rules!:
    • Jake ends up refusing $250,000 which does not make him popular with the other narcotics officers.
    • When cornered by Jake in the Jungle, Alonzo offers money to anyone who shoots him. No one takes him up on the offer, with Bones flat-out telling him that he has to do it himself.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Connections!: Alonzo thinks he's above the law because he works for the Three Wise Men, who are corrupt cops in high-ranking positions. It's through them that Alonzo gets permission to rob and kill his long-time drug contact. However, the alternate ending revealed that it was the Three Wise Men who sent Hoyt to make sure Alonzo didn't pay off the Russians.
  • Screw the Rules, I Make Them!: Alonzo more or less quotes the trope near the end of the film.
  • Secret Test: Alonzo leaves Jake with Smiley's crew to be murdered; when Jake manages to escape and track him down, Alonzo tries to play it off as being a final test before officially joining the team. Jake doesn't buy it for a second.+
  • Secret Test of Character: Jake initially interprets some of Alonzo's requests of him as such, when in fact they are nothing of the sort. Antoine Fuqua in the DVD commentary says that Alonzo did at first intend nothing more for Jake than setting him up as the fall guy, but later starts to view the capable Jake as a genuine prospect for his team. Jake's honesty forces Alonzo to revert to his original plan.
  • Self-Defense Ruse: Dirty Cop Alonzo pulls this trope when he and his team of crooked cops kill his long-time drug-dealing friend Roger and take his money. Alonzo plants a gun at the scene and shoots one of his men to make it seem like Roger's death was a case of self-defense in reporting, then splits the money between his men while leaving with the rest.
  • Shot in the Ass: Jake shoots Alonzo in the buttocks to prevent him from picking up his pistol.
    Alonzo: Ooh, you motherfucker! You son of a bitch! You shot me in the ass!
  • Sink or Swim Mentor: Alonzo, who starts slowly but amps it up until he's strong-arming Hoyt into killing and robbing Roger.
  • Sliding Scale of Law Enforcement: Hoyt is definitely much closer to the positive end than Alonzo, given his unwillingness to stop dealing with individual crimes and look at the big picture.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: Alonzo qualifies in the greater scheme of things. While he's evidently a big name within the LAPD, he seems to think being a top-notch detective allows him to get away with anything short of public murder. It backfires badly on him when he beat a man to death in Las Vegas heedless of consequences... only to discover that the Russian Mafia is not happy and his badge won't save him from execution if he doesn't pay them off.
  • Smoky Gentlemen's Club: The smoky establishment where Alonzo goes to meet the Three Wise Men, the secret power players behind law enforcement, is implied to be one of these.
  • Spanner in the Works: Jake effectively screws Alonzo's plot to get away from The Mafiya, in the most ironic way possible.
  • Take a Third Option: Towards the end of the film, Hoyt corners Alonzo, and can either kill him or take him in with no evidence, ruining his own career. He reaches out and takes Alonzo's badge. And the money he needs to pay off the Russians.
  • There Are Two Kinds of People in the World: According to Alonzo, it's wolves and sheep. An obvious third option would be "sheepdog," which police often use as a metaphor for their profession, but it's never brought up, lampshading Alonzo's idea of justice as being a bigger, badder "wolf".
  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill: The Russian Mafia knows how to get the job done. The parallels to The Godfather are not without reason.
  • Title Drop:
    Alonzo Harris: Today is a Training Day, Officer Hoyt.
  • Took a Level in Badass: By the end of the film, it is pretty apparent that Jake took one.
  • Traffic Wardens: Referred to by Alonzo as a Punishment Detail for cops whose careers stall out; Jake later says that he would prefer cutting parking tickets to engaging in the corruption he sees on Alonzo's team.
  • Training from Hell: Alonzo makes Hoyt do all kinds of shit, including participating in an armed robbery and smoke PCP-laced marijuana at his first day as a narc. Subverted in that he's not actually doing it to make Jake a better cop, but rather to advance his own agenda.
  • Trickster Mentor: Alonzo masquerades as this.
  • Villain Cred: Discussed. A trio of Mexican Gangbangers talk about Alonzo Harris: one of them considers Alonzo a "ruthless vato", but their leader Smiley disagrees; "he don't respect nada".
  • Villainous Breakdown: Alonzo himself at the end.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Some of Alonzo's actions can be interpreted this way. Others, not so much. He's a veteran police officer with a very high success rate on closing cases and is working a staggering number of them at any one time while supervising multiple younger officers, but his methods are generally brutal and extralegal. Others, such as his murder of a drug dealer friend of his so he can steal his money or putting out a hit on the main character to keep him from talking, not so much.
  • Wham Shot: A doozy. Jake looks out the window to see Alonzo's car is gone. He instantly realizes that Alonzo has left him there to be killed.
  • White Bread and Black Brotha: Subverted. While Jake is the by-the-book white rookie and Alonzo is the street-hardened Cowboy Cop, it's revealed that Alonzo is an outright Dirty Cop who forces Jake to commit various crimes with him as Betrayal Insurance and tries to have him killed.
  • Won't Do Your Dirty Work: Near the end, when various ghetto residents, including many Gangbangers who've been forced to obey Alonzo, come out to see the commotion between him and Jake, Alonzo tries to get them to kill Jake for him. Bone, the lead gangster, refuses and tells Alonzo he needs to do it himself, with the clear implication that if Alonzo can't beat Jake on his own, he'll lose all his Villain Cred, which in turn would make the local residents lose their fear of Alonzo:
    Alonzo: Somebody drop this fool for me.
    Bone: [Steps forward with a gun, then places it on the street] You got us twisted, homie. You gotta put your own work in around here.
    Alonzo: Oh, it's like that, Bone?
    Bone: It's like that.
  • Wrong Side of the Tracks: Jake comments that the police usually don't enter The Jungle "with anything less than a platoon." This is true in Real Life as well: the neighborhood they enter is avoided by the LAPD as effectively un-police-able. Antoine Fuqua specifically approached the gangs to get permission to film there, as the city effectively has no authority there.
  • You Wouldn't Shoot Me: In the climax, Alonzo taunts Jake as the latter holds him at gunpoint, calling his bluff on shooting a fellow police officer, even going as far as turning around and walking to grab the gun of a Gang Banger laid on the ground to shoot him. He finds out the hard way that Jake would shoot him. In the ass. Jake even warns him what would happen if he tries it again.
    Jake: The next one will kill you.