Director: David Ayer
Cast: Jake Gyllenhaal, Michael Pena, Anna Kendrick, Natalie Martinez, Frank Grillo, America Ferrera
Plot: The film centers on two cops and their daily challenges keeping the peace in the tough neighborhood in south Los Angeles.
Review: After making two cop films about bad policemen, David Ayer finally decided to make one about good cops instead.
It's to his credit that he finds a way to minimise the cliches that come with making a cop movie, and that way is using the found footage gimmick, though to be fair, not all of it is filmed like that, just mostly. This method allows Ayer to ground his story and give it a solid sense of realism which really helps in making this film as good as it is.
End Of Watch stars Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Pena as officers Brian Taylor and Mike Zavala respectively, best friends and partners who do their daily duty of policing the area of south L.A.. Throughout the film, Brian records their activities as part of his personal film project, through cameras installed in their car and on their uniforms too. We watch them deal with the many challenges in executing their duties, from solving domestic disturbances to saving kids from a fire, and arresting perps of course. In between, we also get to see their personal lives being told, family stuff, stuff about the job and some pretty funny anecdotes too.
For all of this to work, Gyllenhaal and Pena had to train together for months so that their relationship would be convincing, and thankfully it paid off. Thanks to them, Brian and Mike are presented convincingly as brothers in arms, who would watch each other's backs at all times, who would go through hell and back together. It is this relationship that holds the film together so well.
The plot pits the two against a drug dealing gang who want to get even after their stash of drugs gets confiscated, which all comes to a head in the film's climax. I must say, it was well done as far as this is concerned.
As for other cast members, Anna Kendrick plays Brian's other half, and I don't know if it's right to say that she's miscast, because she still looks like she just got out of high school and thus too young to marry him. Natalie Martinez fares slightly better as Mike's wife, and Frank Grillo gets one dramatic moment as the duo's sergeant, when he relates an old story to a couple of rookies.
On the flipside, the film does drag at times, and the profanity level here is ridiculously high. It kinda makes The Departed seem meek in comparison.
Overall, End Of Watch is a great cop film, which would look real familiar to you if you've seen many of those documentaries on the Crime Investigation network. Not that it's a bad thing, on the contrary actually. (3.5/5)