Denzel Washington may have stolen the show and scooped his second Academy Award for his incendiary lead performance as Alonzo Harris, but Training Day was a huge milestone in the careers of several of the talents involved.
For Washington, it can arguably be pinpointed as the movie that cemented him as a permanent resident of the Hollywood A-list and the beginning of his incredible hot streak as a proven draw, with the majority of the actor’s ventures into the action thriller genre and biggest box office successes coming in the wake of the street-level Los Angeles crime drama.
For director Antoine Fuqua, meanwhile, his third feature was the first one that didn’t bomb, and he’s now well established as a solid hand for hire when it comes to crafting mid-budget studio fare. And finally, writer David Ayer’s first solo screenplay saw him become the go-to guy for delivering gritty police procedurals, with his subsequent work on projects like Dark Blue, S.W.A.T., Street Kings, Harsh Times and End of Watch eventually landing him several big budget directorial gigs of his own.
Of course, it wouldn’t be unfair to say that Training Day would be nowhere near as watchable as it is with anyone else in the main role. Denzel Washington is an absolute force of nature, barreling his way through every scene, and even though we know Alonzo is a corrupt and despicable cop, he’s still so effortlessly charming and magnetic that more than a few folks in the audience were rooting for him by the end of the movie.
Training Day is being added to the Netflix library next month on March 1st, and as a mid-budget cops and criminals thriller it’s poised to land on the Top 10 most-watched list shortly after it debuts if history has shown us anything.