Released in 2001, Training Day is a film that exposes the police department in various ways. The movie depicts the corruption and misconducts that take place in West L.A. A film that was necessary to express how police has misued its powers and the common man gets exploited.

Police brutality, narcotics, and corruption are just a few of the several hot political buttons pushed by the movie. Since its release, the movie hasn’t lost its importance to the common public. In fact, thereafter, public consciousness of scandals regarding police behaviour has increased.

Training Day

The recent international protests in response to George Floyd’s death at the hands of the police are enough evidence. While Hollywood films like Training Day are necessary, it is also crucial not to trivialize the topic.

Its true even if the events of the film are not 100% true. Even though the realistic depiction of the film might make fans wonder whether it’s a real life story or not, does this movie really fit the criteria?

Is Training Day based on a true story?

This Denzel Washington and Ethan Hawke (and many more talented cast members) starrer movie might come off as a story based off real evens. But that is not the case. A lot of inspiration has been taken from real life events.

A still from the movie Training Day

The movie still remains partly fictional. So the answer is yes and no. The movie is inspired of the real corruption of the police, but no particular real life event was the script for the story.

Although, Denzel Washington’s character Alonzo Harris, is the portrayal of a real bad cop named Rafael Perez. If the name sounds familiar, then it probably is. Rafael was an L.A.P.D. officer heavily involved in the Rampart Scandal in the late 90s.

Alonzo Harris

The scandal concerned police misconduct connected to the L.A.P.D.’s anti-gang unit, CRASH (Community Resources Against Street Hoodlums). Perez himself was caught stealing cocaine from an evidence room and further implicated other officers to get a reduced sentence.


Aside from that, The Cinemaholic says that much of Training Day’s realistic qualities are brought to fruition through director Antoine Fuqua’s upbringing in the rougher areas of Pittsburgh. Fuqua also went ahead and used real-world L.A. gang members as extras throughout the film.

With all the efforts and elements of trying to make the movie realistic, the creators succeeded. But, for the record, the movie is not based on a true story.

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