Monday, November 26, 2012

End of Watch

Directed by: David Ayer
Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal, Michael Pena, Anna Kendrick & Natalie Martinez
Released: 2012
Runtime: 108 minutes
Rating: 3.5/5

Two young Los Angeles Police Officers Brian Taylor (Jake Gyllenhaal) and Mike Zavale (Michael Pena) routinely patrol the notoriously violent streets of South Central L.A.; where after confiscating an amount of money and some extravagant weaponry from a Mexican drug cartel it becomes apparent that the two officers are now marked for death.

This film’s director and screen writer David Ayer has also written screen plays for Training Day, S.W.A.T. and Dark Blue. I think it’s clear he has a fascination with the LADP. His knowledge of it certainly shows in the films.

Now as to my thoughts of the film, I want to open by saying that the shaky cam technique used is was too extreme. I know it adds a sense of realism but it gets very distracting, however it does back off throughout the second half of the film and settles on a more conventional style of filming. But apart from that End of Watch is a thrilling, intense and a very engaging cop movie.

These two cops would have to be the unluckiest in the world because everything happens to them such as high speed chases, deadly shoot outs, the discovery of a horrifying mass grave and finding a fellow officer stabbed in the face. Not to mention the gang of criminals they’re up against who have less dimension than a piece of paper and some of most unimaginative dialog in the entire film. But they’re perfectly suitable villains.   

Gyllenhaal and Pena have great on screen chemistry. Their dialog is great; it’s vulgar, witty, personal and often very funny. Not only are they partners but they’re also best friends. And their wives played by Anna Kendrick and Natalie Martinez provide grounding force in their life.

I got more than I was expecting from End of Watch, it’s not just a straight action movie, but an up close and personal glimpse into the very hazardous world of two LAPD cops who you can’t help become very attached to. I managed to enjoy the movie a lot in spite of the over use of the shaky cam style, it has a lot of the grit and excitement that we got in Training Day. It’s definitely work seeing.

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