End of Watch is another highlight of 2012. It’s entertaining, a perfect blend of action/entertainment with a gritty storyline underneath. It’s a great script, fast paced and naturalistic, with few quiet moments. Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Pena have great chemistry with some of the best scenes coming from the two driving round on patrol. There’s a lot of banter and they make a great buddy cop duo that could rival Lethal Weapon and Bad Boys. They’re a bromance favourite. Anna Kendrick gives another great performance, as Brian Taylor’s (Gyllenhaal) love interest, again proving her talents stretch far beyond the Twilight Saga. But really it’s all about the relationship between Brian Taylor and Mike Zavala (Pena).
These are cocky young officers full of enthusiasm for taking down big criminals. And as we follow them over roughly a year as they have babies, get married and make some pretty heavy arrests they become increasingly more entangled with the Curb Side Gang. It’s a brilliant story with a very realistic approach both in acting and filming. I can only pick one fault with it, and that’s writer/director David Ayer’s choice to film as both documented footage and observational. It starts off as Brian Taylor records footage from his hand held and mini camera’s attached to his and Zavala’s uniform for credit as part of his law degree, but then cuts to footage from camera’s used by the Curb Side gang who are also using camera’s (this seems a little hard to believe) to document their crimes. On top of that Ayer also uses the regular filming style (As in not from a source within the film) along with some beautiful panoramic shots which definitely weakens the realistic element he tries so hard to built. It’s not a major distraction but it could have benefited from sticking to one style or the other and in fact the law degree element of the story is never mentioned again after the first five minutes adding pretty much nothing to the story. But otherwise the film’s great and I really enjoyed it. It was also a nice surprise seeing Ugly Betty’s America Ferrera and Magic Mike’s Cody Horn as partners on the force, looking like a couple of tough bitches giving as good as they get and exchanging some entertaining banter with the guys.
It’s a definite MUST SEE.