Published on July 22nd, 2013 | by Allan Brown0
End of Watch Review
Movie Review: End of Watch (2012)
Director: David Ayer
Cast: Jake Gyllenhaal, Michael Peña, Anna Kendrick
Plot: LAPD Officers Taylor and Zavala run into more than they bargained for when making a routine traffic stop.
End of watch acts as a “day in the life” character drama coupled with a hard hitting and direct buddy cop movie. The film is shot largely on handheld camera’s giving the points of view of the officers and assailants they encounter. We watch through dashboard and surveillance cameras as the action and quieter scenes reveal themselves. This presents the movie with an authentic edge and honesty rarely seen in such motion pictures.
With that said this is not entirely a “found footage” film, there is an immediacy and power in the scenes where this technique is employed, however some of the emotional handheld shots jarringly cut to glossier static shots, causing stylistic inconsistencies that do not aid the movie. It is only down to the strength of the lead characters that the viewer isn’t pulled out of the film by these frequent stylistic shifts.
Following Taylor and Zavala on patrol in such close proximity as they deal with local gangsters and drug dealers is a joy to watch. These characters are entirely engrossing and their relationship is utterly believable. Both Gyllenhaal and Pena give fantastic, natural performances which make their friendship a joy to observe. Anna Kendrick also shines in the supporting role giving a real and honest portrayal.
There are inconsistencies present with regards to tone and depth in some characters, we go from naturalistic realism when dealing with the two lead protagonists and their authentic relationship, to the antagonists who come across as superficial, stereotypical “bad guys”, wafer thin in any depth and seem present only to act only as plot devices.
Summary: End of Watch is a truthful, gripping and tense drama presenting a fresh and exciting take on the buddy cop movie formula. The relationship between the two lead characters is solid and acts as the beating heart of the film.