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Friday, September 21, 2012

END OF WATCH Review. Not Just Another Cop Movie


Was this just another buddy cop movie? Let's find out what RAMA thought of the movie.

It’s interesting that this movie opens the same weekend as DREDD 3D, which is about a judge, jury executioner, basically a cop that is allowed to take matters into his own hands, whereas END OF WATCH is about a couple of cops who want to be vigilantes or more than they are, because of good intentions, but it blows up in their faces. That said, END OF WATCH is a powerful cop drama/thriller that respects the good men and women in uniform fighting day and night in a war zone that’s as real as it gets…

From the writer of Training Day, END OF WATCH is a riveting action thriller that puts audiences at the center of the chase like never before. Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Peña star as young LA police officers who discover a secret that makes them the target of the country’s most dangerous drug cartel. 

Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Pena play officer Brian and officer Mike respectively, they’ve got each other’s back, they’re each other’s brother, they’re fully aware that their job comes with deathly consequences and that’s what END OF WATCH tries to emphasize from the beginning, even the chase scenes could result fatal for either of them. END OF WATCH celebrates cops, not just their on duty hour but their families, their pranks, and their usual methods of search and arrest. It’s somewhat told in a found footage style but I’d like to think it more like the popular reality show Cops where the camera follows them around, in this case however, the camera is occasionally handled by officer Brian (Gyllenhaal).

The film offers one heckuvan emotional ride because the humor is extremely funny, the chase sequences and some of the reveal are highly intense and the conclusion is deeply affecting because you get to ride with these two guys everywhere they go, and so the idea of losing them to any reason is pretty tough to take in. Both Gyllenhaal and Pena bring their A-game, they give their most solid performances.

Those of us familiar with screenwriter David Ayer would know that the dude loves Cop stories and in the past, he tackled cop corruption (Training Day, Harsh Times, S.W.A.T., Street Kings) but in END OF WATCH, here are two straight up good guys just doing their job, they even got too good at it. There’s no dirty cop, just cops who showcase what brotherhood means in blue uniform. I’m not sure why Ayer drove himself in this direction this time around, but it’s refreshing and I think the audience will appreciate how realistic the film looks, and will have newfound respect for those who put themselves on the line to protect our city.

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