Release Date: 03 January 2013
Running Time: 120 minutes
Distributor: GSC Movies (from Open Road Films)
Director: David Ayer
Screenplay: David Ayer
Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal, Michael Peña, Anna Kendrick, Cody Horn
Plot: 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.
LAPD officers Brian Taylor (Jake Gyllenhaal) and Miguel Zavala (Michael Peña) are two close friends and partners. Taylor goes against the norm by filming the police activities to feed into his film project, much to the dismay of some of his colleague. When a group of Latino gang members open attack a group of black American, Taylor and Zavala go around the loophole and begin to investigate the shooting on their own. But what they find are a string of evidence that relates to the illegal activities run by the cartel. Their heroic actions upset someone on top of the cartel who orders them to be killed.
End of Watch is not your regular buddy cop drama. Usually, these buddy cop can be extremely stupid or it some event, extremely casual. There are also times when things got heated up so seriously. But here we have two people who bring the buddy cop to a new level. Taylor and Zavala are not even your hotly smoking detective with a crunching skill or the corrupted one who bangs on door for quick cash. These two are just your average, honest patrolman, sometimes cocky, sometimes heroic and sometimes too overzealous. Strange that simple elements and plots like this can make one hell of a ride. The gung-ho experience is practically comparable to some Mexican stand-out albeit from a different angle. The whole camera experience is nauseating but it propels a different metric of suspense on the table.
There is no exact genre to define End of Watch. In the first ten minutes, the vibe of getting a ridiculous head-spinning first-person video cam seems imminent. But a brilliant opening – a gutsy and nasty representative of the hard work and dedication served by the police task force cools thing down. The plot, written by Ayer himself is a steady, well-paced and slowly built frame-by-frame story arc that over the time, sees increasing amount of thrilling case, decapitated human parts and gunfight. By a slow revelation of the infested violence spill-over from the border of Mexico, it comes to an exciting piece of third act that matches our heroic duo and the Latino gang. All in all, it contains a well-balanced amount of bromance comedy, sexual explicit talk, uncountable drug and gun-shell talks.
But then, too much F- and S- words can be a little distracting. The official count – 326 F-words; uttered repeatedly by the all-round characters in almost every sentence. But then despite all the profanity and sharp-tongued dialogue, the outstanding performances from Gyllenhaal and Pena as the “buddy cop” are effective to shape this movie. Gyllenhaal plays Taylor, a rowdy ex-Navy with much altitude in his head and a womanizer in some point. Peña portrays Zavala as a family-guy, blue-collar police officer who offers empathy for his roots. Together, they are unstoppable and their on-screen chemistry is pure and real.
In the end, End of Watch is a well-paced and well-built energetic crime thriller by David Ayer which benefits from the outstanding performances by Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Peña and a realistic representation of the police.