Training day follows the first day of the new detective (Ethan Hawke). Alonzo is his guide and he gives Hawke's character a baptism of fire. Washington plays the role that controls everyscene basically, and he is as loud and bombastic as one can get.
Washington obviously does not play a character of extreme subtlety but instead of one as an over the top villain. Now I do believe the character could have been underplayed but we get get overplayed so I suppose you just have to go with it. But its a shame really because in one scene after he killed a man who seemed to be his friend he tells Hawke's character about how bad the guy really was and how he did the right thing. If there were more scenes like that in the performance it probably would have been much more interesting and effective. Instead we get his loud shouting and quick talking, and acting odd scenes for the rest of the movie. Washington plays it up to the extreme but then again saying things like King Kong's got nothing on me and such is a bit extreme anyways. This performance works well enough but when someone is so over the top they should be more effective and entertaining than Washington is here. Not a bad performance but I do believe it to be a missed opportunity since I think Washington could have made a truly effective and subtle villain instead of just a loud one.