Sunday, February 22, 2009

Training Day (2001): African Americans In Cinema (7)

Once waiting a few moments, an unprecedented two African Americans were presented the top award for acting in the same year.

Training Day (2001), takes you through a day in the life of Jake Hoyt, played by Ethan Hawke, a Los Angeles police officer trying to get on an elite narcotics task force captained by Alonzo Harris, played by Denzel Washington.

From the beginning of the movie, we see that Jakes ‘straight as an arrow’ Robin hood persona act is not in agreement with Harris’ thug mentality; living by the code of the street rather than the word of law. This becomes apparent when Harris and Hoyt stop a car load of college students, instead of arresting them for procession of illegal substances or giving them a traffic ticket, Harris confiscates the paraphernalia and instead of turning it in, he persuades Hoyt to ingest the confiscated material, writing off the experience as a ‘rite of passage’ for a rookie narcotics agent, saying that a real narcotics officer have to know how the drug tastes and feels in order to obtain the desired results.

As the remainder of the day drags along, Harris shows Hoyt more and more of his dirty deeds and, to Hoyt’s dismay, leads him further and further into the world of corruption. The
The movie cumulates at the end of Hoyt’s first day on the job with Hoyt pulling into his driveway and going home to his family, while a radio broadcast tells of Harris’ death, reporting it as occurring 'in the line of duty' during the drug raid earlier that day.

Denzel Washington went on to win an Academy Award for Best Actor for his role in the film.

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