If you are one of those fans who love grimmy films, or police dramas set in Los Angeles, then the new film from David Ayer titled End Of Watch is definitely for you. I know, I know, trust me it’s not what you think; another crime drama film about LAPD who are corrupt. No, actually, its the total opposite. Its a film that finally has the two stars of the film trying to do what’s right while protecting the streets in Los Angeles who happen to stumble across something bigger than what they expected while on duty.
End Of Watch is written and directed by Ayer (The Fast & The Furious, Training Day, S.W.A.T.) who seems to be making a living writing and directing films about corrupt police offices in Los Angeles. I must admit, going in to the film I expected to see just that and I was not thrilled, but I was pleasantly surprised when I was proven wrong.
In this film the stars Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Pena portray officers Brian Taylor and Mike Zavala, officers who love their job and are two no-nonsense cops. They are not only partners on the job they are brothers who look out for each other off duty too.
End Of Watch quickly engages you with the characters as we get a chance to see their every day lives as we ride along with them (Taylor takes a camera with him everywhere and we see their journey through the lenses of that camera as Taylor states that he is doing this for a school project, even though he never seems to attend any classes because he is always working) and we eavesdrop on their conversations. We start to love these guys because early on we discover that they are honest guys just trying to make it every day on the job and starting out their families; Mike is married and Brian is trying to meet the great woman of all time and settle down.
As the film goes along we see what they see as they go through their shift and time passes. We hang out for months as relationships develop from the street gangs to their families. We actually care because they make us laugh and because they are lovable. These guys are not Clark Kents, or Clint Eastwoods, they are wise cracking officers who represent the Los Angeles Police Department in a way that hasn’t been seen on film in a long time; very good guys.
While on duty Brian and Mike happen to make many busts and they happen to stumble upon a Mexican Cartel that is doing drug runs and more and their lives quickly change.
Without spoiling the film I will say the performances from Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Pena are excellent and I was pleasantly surprised. The supporting cast of Anna Kendrick, David Harbour, Frank Grillo, and America Ferrera pulls their weight too and with the pace of this film, it made their performances feel that much more real.
At the end of the day is End Of Watch worth seeing? Yes, and worth every penny. End Of Watch is in theaters nation wide today.