MBTI Comparison: Training Day’s ENTJ and ESTJ

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It’s unusual for a film to pair an ESTJ and ENTJ together. Normally, it’s the ENTJ personality that controls his various minions as ESTJ tells his two Artisan rogue cops that they “DON’T FOLLOW THE RULES BUT DAMMIT, YOU GET THE JOB DONE!”

It’s just the way it goes.

But maybe this unique positioning of character is what makes this movie so memorable. It’s too easy to put an ISFP under the tutelage of a ESTP or something of the like. “This guy’s like, a goodguy, and this other guy is, I don’t know, like Wolverine or something!” Good cop, bad cop, blah blah blah.

But a “goody two shoes” that’s being trained supposedly for the law yet could be seen as a representation of Satan himself? I’m in. Here are some key differences and similarities between the characters and types.

ESTJ

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Ethan Hawke’s character, Jake Hoyt, is new to the detective scene. He’s a little shaky due to being so “green” and wanting to make the right impression for his trainer, Alonzo Harris, played by MY MAN, DENZEL which I will name my firstborn, male or female.

Hoyt has a wife and baby, and it’s clear that he’s a decent husband, happy in his surroundings. Though this job is a great opportunity for him, it’s still going to be a job. His life is at home. ESTJs are the traditionalists. Work is work, but Sunday afternoon football games surrounded by friends and/or family are what life is all about.

From frat guy to middle aged manager of “wherever,” these guys (mostly) work because it’s what you do, not because they enjoy it. What you’re “supposed” to enjoy is what comes after work. The idea of doing a job for less money even though you’re much happier is usually ridiculous to Guardian types. Officer Jake is going to work to make a living, make money, and provide for his family while accomplishing something positive- not to create a double life.

—–

ENTJ

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Alonzo, on the other hand has melded his personal and professional life together into one. There doesn’t seem to be a major difference between the things he wants to do and the things he has to do. And often times, “has to” means doing things to get himself out of situations he created. Creating and carrying out plans throughout the day is something of an -N-J trait altogether, while SJ types usually stick with what’s been placed in front of them.

Alonzo doesn’t seem to have any interest in a “normal” life the way Jake does. He’s got a kid, more than one mistress by his own admission and basically goes anywhere and does anything he wants. ENTJs are known to place their personal life on hold when it comes to accomplishing a goal and seeing as how Alonzo’s goal are his life, there really isn’t much time for anything else, though he doesn’t seem to mind.

—–

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Throughout the film, Jake is put to the test on every conceivable level. From his body to his mind, Jake goes through several obstacles to not only show us what he’s capable of, but what he’s not capable of. There are several arguments between Jake and Alonzo on what should’ve happened right after a situation has occurred that has Jake bending his ethics just slightly more than the last situation.

Two characters leading with Extraverted Thinking are bound to argue and this film has multiple scenes of it, with both characters making sense in their own minds. Here is an example of Jake’s determinism to do right and the pressure to walk the line of right and wrong as Alonzo tells him to smoke “weed” as part of his job.

Jake first tells him uncomfortably “Man, listen, I became a cop to stop people from doing-“

Before he’s cut off by Alonzo’s mocking.

In maybe the second most famous scene of the film, our ENTJ villain more or less forces Jake to smoke weed on the job. After smoking said weed, Alonzo laughs that it’s actually PCP. In a hilarious twist of villainy, even responds to Jake’s claim of never smoking PCP before says, “You have now! I haven’t, but you have.”

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“Tee hee!”

Alonzo later uses this to blackmail Jake into going along with several of his dirty schemes otherwise he’ll rat on Jake for drug use on the job. ENTJs have been known to put their morality to the side as their determination to “win” at all cost takes over. Alonzo’s world is so convoluted that he doesn’t really have a right or wrong anymore. Just what he hasn’t done and what he’s going to do.

He sees himself in Jake and remembers the youthful idealism just enough to be able to twist it to his advantage in several scenes. An ENTJ’s charisma is second to none while ESTJ’s “simplicity in logic” just isn’t attractive enough to those that don’t work on pure rationality.

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“Come hither, Jake. I will explain my reasoning in torturing that crackhead.”

In one of the darker scenes of the movie, Alonzo decides to pull an informant’s card by shooting him and taking his saved up drug money so Alonzo can pay off Russian gangsters he owes. In an example of Alonzo’s auxiliary Ni, he reveals to Jake that he’s “been plannin’ it all week” to get his cronies together, take the dealer’s money, and blame Jake if he decides to give them up and, more severely, kill him.

In an example of Jake’s Si in that very scene, he’s put in the difficult position of doing what’s right or going along with something that couldn’t be further away from what’s right. He didn’t sign up to do what he’s doing, as he says, but now that he’s in the position, he’s having a hard time backing down from his beliefs. ESTJs are products of their environment and if raised in a healthy environment, their morality will take precedence over all else and implemented like so.

Someone didn’t sleep through ethics class, did they?” one of Alonzo’s minions says while staring judgmentally. It’s not until Jake puts a gun to Alonzo’s head that the situation escalates to where a decision has to be made and Jake finally folds. ESTJs and ENTJs butting heads is liable to reach it’s head quickly, and it’s not surprising that in a mental game, ENTJ would come out on top, knowing what buttons on the ESTJ to push.

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“Ey buddy, I charge extra for sad faces on MY bus!”

Director Antoine Fuqua, who has yet to top his 2001 film said this of Washington’s character-

“I think in some ways he’s done his job too well. He’s learned how to manipulate, how to push the line further and further, and, in the process, he’s become more hard-core than some of the guys he’s chasing.”

Ultimately, while Jake’s goals are clear cut and simple, it’s Alonzo that’s been twisted over time. Alonzo’s long-term, big picture outlook screwed him in the long run, as he saw how corrupt and disgusting the world can be, and chose to act based on that, while the clear cut lines of an SJ allow Jake to look at things as black and white lines, by which you choose a side and stay there.

"DENZEL! AIN'T GOT NOTHIN'! ON ME!" -King Kong, Peter Jackson's version.

“DENZEL! AIN’T GOT NOTHIN’! ON ME!” -King Kong, Peter Jackson’s version.

In the most famous scene of the film, Alonzo’s collapse of personal power and subsequent breakdown remind me of another ENTJ, Light Yagami; whose eventual revelation that he’d lost sight of things and was no longer in control of everything around him forced him to come to terms in a matter of minutes that proved too much for him to bare.

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