END OF WATCH
BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELL
JULY 5, 2013
Relying slightly too heavily on the “found footage” concept of the film, “End Of Watch” overcomes this major downfall by remaining relevant and sincere throughout the film. Director David Ayer relies heavily on the natural chemistry between Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Peña as they play partners in the LAPD, specializing in the gangland that is South Central, Los Angeles. They’re good at their jobs, and even the audience is lulled into a false sense of security as they take down the real bad guys, both on purpose and sometimes accidentally.
From the writer of “Training Day,” Ayer provides the most realistic look at the cop-criminal relationship, mimicking the format set by COPS, which has worked for so many years. The audience grows attached to these characters as we laugh with them, experience monumental life moments like babies and marriage with them, and watch them grow with one another. So when there is a loss, we are affected that much more, and Ayer does no skimp on loss. Several times you’re surprised what comes out of this screenplay, whether it’s what they find in a suspect’s home or what happens to one of the main characters. Emotions are taut in “End Of Watch,” and some of the scenarios and imagery will haunt you days after viewing the film. Intense and realistic as a dramatic thriller can get, this film is a must-see.
September 21, 2012
Open Road Films
(for strong violence, some disturbing images, pervasive language including sexual references, and some drug use)