Every once in awhile a movie will come along and completely shock people. End of Watch is one of those movies. With a marketing campaign roughly 1/16 of what The Avengers’ was, David Ayer’s film hits theaters this weekend without much buzz. Once people leave the theater that will change.
Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Peña team up as Brian and Mike, two buddy cops in the heart of the heat, L.A.P.D. Early on it is clear that they are a couple of hotshots, but they can actually back it up with solid police work and honest intentions to serve the community in desperate need of a clean-up. The two partners share a type of bond that can only exist between police offers, and they portray it perfectly. End of Watch is a perfect blend of action, drama, comedy, and nerve-rattling fear. If people aren’t smiling at the beautifully simplistic comedic conversations between the two men, then they are gripping their armrests in pure suspense. As Gyllenhaal’s Brian would put it, End of Watch has guns, money, and dope- or all the major food groups.
As the plot progresses, Brian and Mike find themselves getting deeper and deeper into the crime world of L.A. and many people aren’t happy with what they’re finding out. Every new call they take has its own twists and turns, even when it’s supposed to be something as simple as a welfare check on the elderly. Think again.
From the film’s intro, audiences can be sure that they are in for an interesting ride. Ayer provides Gyllenhaal with a voice over that comes off at first as trying too hard. However, by the film’s end it will all come full circle, with the middle section being filled with bullets flying and an undeniable chemistry between Gyllenhaal and Peña
End of Watch is filmed almost in its entirety like a 109-minute episode of Cops, as Gyllenhaal carries around multiple cameras on his person and films he and his partner’s every move. A lot of films are utilizing the concept of “found footage” lately, but with the exception of Chronicle, End of Watch handles it the best.
Ayer’s hits a home run in all aspects. His cast, even going beyond Gyllenhaal and Peña, has Anna Kendrick (50/50) making it that every available guy wants to marry her on the spot. His script-writing skills were already acknowledgeable, with his hit Training Day paving the way as his calling card. Ayer ups the ante this time around, providing his actor’s with a script so well written that it’s hard to believe anyone is acting at all.
If there is one film this fall that will leave audiences surprisingly moved and quite simply put, in awe, then End of Watch is the one to do it.
Photo Credit: Open Road Films