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Alonzo Harris

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Alonzo Harris

Det. Alonzo Harris
Training Day character
First appearance Training Day
Created by David Ayer
Portrayed by Denzel Washington
Information
Occupation LAPD Narcotics officer
Nationality American

Detective Alonzo Harris is the main antagonist in the 2001 film Training Day. He is portrayed by American actor Denzel Washington. For his performance, Washington won the Academy Award for Best Actor.[1]

Character

Detective Alonzo Harris is a highly decorated Los Angeles Police Department narcotics officer who has worked for over thirteen years on the streets. Alonzo runs an aggressive narcotics unit that is known for making major drug seizures and taking down major drug traffickers. However, he uses controversial and radical methods and is one of the most feared officers due to corruption. He is a selfish man who does anything, including murder, for money and lacks empathy. He is married with four sons but also has a Salvadoran mistress Sara (Eva Mendes) and a young son in Baldwin Village.

At the beginning of the movie, Alonzo must evaluate the young patrol officer,Jake Hoyt, as a possible addition to his narcotics unit. Alonzo and Jake bust a small group of college kids buying marijuana in a known drug neighborhood. He forces Jake to smoke marijuana, that is laced with PCP, saying that if Jake refuses he won't be worthy to join the unit. Jake agrees and smokes the marijuana as Alonzo drives to the home of Roger (Scott Glenn), a high level drug dealer. While driving, Jake notices a female high school student named Letty being sexually assaulted. Jake solely subdues the attackers, while Alonzo watches. Alonzo tells Letty to leave while he takes the attackers' crack and money and beats them up but lets them go. Jake finds Letty's wallet on the ground and takes it. Alonzo and Jake later apprehend a wheelchair-bound drug dealer named Blue (Snoop Dogg) and find crack rocks and a loaded 9mm Glock 19 pistol on him. In exchange for his freedom, Blue reveals his associate: Kevin "Sandman" Miller, who is imprisoned at the time. Alonzo takes Jake to Sandman's home in Watts where he uses a fake search warrant to steal $40,000 in drug money from the premises. Sandman's wife (Macy Gray) notices and calls out to the nearby armed gang members who open fire, but Alonzo and Jake escape.

Jakes expresses his reluctance but Alonzo says Jakes must decide if he really wants to join the narcotics unit and do some good in the community or return to the patrol division. The duo then visit Alonzo's Salvadoran mistress Sara (Eva Mendes) and their young son (Kyjel N. Jolly) at Baldwin Village. At lunch, Alonzo meets with three high-ranking police officials, nicknamed the "Three Wise Men". They tell Alonzo they know he owes money to the Russian Mafia for an incident over the weekend in Las Vegas and suggest that he leave town. But Alonzo insists he can control the situation and gets permission to "cash in on an account". Alonzo later tells Jake that he had to give Sandman's money to the Three Wise Men to obtain an arrest warrant.

Alonzo, Jake and his associates go to Roger's home. Alonzo steals $4 million of drug money from underneath Roger's kitchen floor, and kills him with a 12 gauge Mossberg 500 shotgun. Alonzo arranges the scene to appear like a justified shooting, but Jake refuses to go along with the ruse. Alonzo tells him that the LAPD will run a blood test on Jake, the result of which he can falsify in exchange for Jake's cooperation, and Jake reluctantly agrees to his machination.Later Alonzo takes Jake to the home of Smiley (Cliff Curtis), a Mexican gang member. Jake is unknowingly abandoned by Alonzo, who has paid Smiley and his gang to murder Jake. Smiley informs Jake that Alonzo has been targeted for assassination by the Russian Mafia for beating a Russian man to death in Las Vegas over the weekend. Smiley reveals that the Russian Alonzo killed was a Russian mobster and that Alonzo now owes the Russian Mafia $1 million by midnight or he'll be killed by a Russian Mafia crew that's on stand by. Jake punches Smiley, who intends to kill Jake but changes his mind when Smiley learns that Jake saved his cousin Letty from being raped earlier in the day.

Jake attempts to arrest Alonzo, but a gunfight ensues. Alonzo violently beats Jake but leaves to pay off the Russians. Jake returns to stop Alonzo, who tries to get the crowd of gang members on his side by offering a reward to whoever kills Jake, but they have grown tired of Alonzo's arrogance and allow Jake to walk away with the money. Alonzo tries to escape via Los Angeles International Airport, but he is killed by the Russian Mafia at an intersection near the airport.

Casting

Before Denzel Washington was to play the role, the producers considered and offered it to Gary Sinise and Tom Sizemore, but they both passed on the role. Later, the producers were interested in that Bruce Willis play the role, but dropped down.[2]

When Davis Guggenheim was set to direct the film, Alonzo was to be played by Samuel L. Jackson. Later, Washington was confirmed to play Alonzo Harris, with Antoine Fuqua set to replace Guggenheim.[2]

Reception

Denzel Washington's performance as Detective Alonzo Harris was highly praised by critics. Chicago Sun-Times film critic Roger Ebert said: "Washington seems to enjoy a performance that's over the top and down the other side". [3] In the Village Voice, Amy Taubin expressed: "Training Day, Antoine Fuqua's propulsive, elegantly written police thriller, offers the unsettling spectacle of Denzel Washington, whose old-fashioned combination of decency and sexiness suggests the African American counterpart to Gregory Peck (in his To Kill a Mockingbird period), as an LAPD cop so evil he makes Harvey Keitel's bad lieutenant look like even smaller potatoes than he was meant to be". [4]

He won the Boston Society of Film Critics Award for Best Actor, the Kansas City Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actor, the Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award for Best Actor and was nominated for the Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Actor and the Online Film Critics Society Award for Best Actor.

In 2002, he received the Black Reel Award for Best Actor, the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture, the MTV Movie Award for Best Villain and the Academy Award for Best Actor, beating out Russell Crowe for his acclaimed role as John Forbes Nash in A Beautiful Mind.[1]

He was also nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor - Motion Picture Drama, the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role (losing the two to Russell Crowe) and the Satellite Award for Best Actor - Motion Picture Drama (losing to Brian Cox in L.I.E.).

In June 2003, the American Film Institute named Alonzo the 50th greatest screen villain of all time in its list AFI's 100 Years...100 Heroes & Villains.[5]

References

  1. ^ a b
  2. ^ a b
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External links

  • Det. Alonzo Harris in IMDb
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