End of Watch Reviews
"Every Moment of Your Life They Stand Watch"
End of Watch is a hard hitting, gritty, and well made cop thriller directed with intensity by David Ayer and boasts two great performances from Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Pena, as best friends and partners. The film is shot like a documentary in order to make it feel more real. It certainly does have a very realistic feel to it the whole way. There's parts that are disturbing, violent, and down right gruesome, but at the heart of the film is always the friendship between two fellow cops.
Brian and Mike are two cops working in a heavily gang and drug influenced part of LA. They also love their jobs. They love saving lives, taking out the bad guys, and life threatening situations have become the routine for them. However, their fire and gusto may prove to get them into trouble once they start messing with an extremely powerful cartel working out of LA.
A lot of the movie is basically us watching the two cops as they go about their watches. We watch them take calls and go into situations not knowing what's going to happen when they arrive on the scene. One of the cops, Brian, is taking a film class, so he is documenting everything they do on the job. He carries around a camera when he's able to, and him and his partner also have mini cameras on their uniforms.
This movie proved to be a little more emotional than I would have ever thought. It's a movie that uses all the excitement and joking between the two to really show that these guys think they are bullet proof, fire proof, and any other type of proof. Overall, this is just about as good as a beat cop movie can be. It really is excellent filmmaking.
Aside from the kinetic energy and cinematography, assured direction, at times shocking brutality and award-worthy screenplay, what elevates "End of Watch" is the career best performances from Jake Gyllenhaal and especially (the Oscar snubbed) Michael Peņa. They give the film surprising heart, and we buy their relationship and workplace motivations.
Uncommonly gripping film heightened by visceral action and a powerful conclusion.
Profanity you say? check!, holy assburgers there is tonnes of it, a possible record breaker here folks. Aside from that the film is actually pretty good and did keep me interested throughout. The plot is basically about the lives of two LA cops going about their daily lives and err that's it. Not only do we get the bad side of being a cop, naturally, we also see the odd perks and how these guys get along together both on the beat and personally.
The whole film is made in a hands on/handheld cam style which we all know about mainly from a few alien and horror flicks. At first it does feel as if its a documentary style and there is a cameraman with the two officers but we find out Gyllenhaal's character is doing some of the filming himself for his own personal project. So the look moves from a police pov to a handheld cam style as if someone else was there with the cops filming.
Visuals are of course rugged, real and at times hectic when the officers burst into action or come under fire. It does add a thrill to the film and gives the whole thing a sharper edge, it basically feels like you're watching one of those real cop TV shows with real footage. Naturally the family side of the story isn't really very interesting and I did find myself yearning for them to get back on the beat. Pregnant wives and relationships zzzzzzz...more door bashing drug/weapon raids please.
On the whole the plot does feel somewhat jumbled and as if its going nowhere but towards the end it does meld together. Unfortunately the ending disappointed me, the cops come under heavy fire from a gang so they go on the run. As they escape they take down two vehicles driven by gangsters, now at this point I instantly thought the pair should jump in one of these criminals cars and drive off to safety. Whilst there they could also have grabbed one of the dead criminals weapons for extra protection seeing as all they have is handguns low on ammo.
But no! they don't do either and just remain on foot trying to outrun or dodge their way clear through alleys. Now surely common sense would dictate what I suggested no? maybe that's just me, the bad guys expire in a pretty weak cliched way too. Bit of an anti climax that lets the rest of the film down if you ask me.
On the whole the film is decent with great performances from the two leads. You really do think you're watching a cop TV show, all that's missing is that stupid intense voice narrating everything hehe. The only down side is, as an Englishman looking on, the film doesn't really put black Americans or Hispanic/Mexican Americans living in LA, in a very good light. Kinda puts you off going anywhere near the city limits, but I guess you could say kudos to the actors and director for making me feel that way, the film made its presence known.
Great Film! In terms of subject matter this film doesn't cover anything really different. Its about cops dealing with their issues at home and on the job. This topic has been covered countless times but what makes End Of Watch different and better then many of its predecessors is that it holds realism as its number one priority. This is one of the most realistic portrayals of police life ever put to celluloid. The day to day lives of these two best friends are shown in a format that is both convincing and horrifying. It doesn't flinch away when showing the disturbing aspects of this high pressure career. Gyllenhaal and Peņa provide us with two highly believable characters and their chemistry is palpable. Whether they're talking about the women in their lives or having a friendly argument about racial stereotypes, these two actors ensure that we stick with their characters through every step of the way. Gyllenhaal continues to solidify himself as one of the best actors around and Peņa delivers one of his best performances to date. It's got a great script and a focused story that is handled confidently and told well. David Ayer has crafted an intense, hard hitting drama that benefits from the two excellent performances by the two leads.
Two young officers are marked for death after confiscating a small cache of money and firearms from the members of a notorious cartel, during a routine traffic stop.