Sunday, September 23, 2012

End of Watch - Movie Review

Starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Michael Pena, Anna Kendrick, Natalie Martinez, David Harbour, Frank Grillo, America Ferrera and Cody Horn.
Directed by David Ayer.


David Ayer written his share about the LAPD (Training Day, Dark Blue), and here he writes and directs this one that might be the best buddy-cop movie in years.  It's not about a grizzled veteran showing a rookie the ropes, nor is it about corrupt cops shaking down drug dealers.  It's about two friends on the force, uncorrupt, just doing their job. A very dangerous job.

Gyllenhaal and Pena are the stars.  They play officers Brian Taylor and Mike Zavala, and the whole movie is what happens to them over one summer.  Most of it has that you-are-there feel to it, with about 80% of the footage coming from videocameras, iPhones, surveillance tapes, etc.  Over the course of the summer, they have run-ins with cartels heavy into drugs and human trafficking.  But they can't let it affect their jobs.  There's paperwork to be done.

Most of the movie takes place inside the squad car, watching the conversations of Brian and Mike, and Gyllenhaal and Pena have some of the best give-and-take on-screen chemistry... ever.  I really believed these guys have been best friends for years.  Career-best performances by both.

I liked how most of the plot of the movie is hidden from the main players.  They believe they're just encountering a series of events, a mix of banter in the car, and scary arrests outside the car.

Its only negative for me was the ridiculous amount of profanity.  I think Summer of Sam's wide-release record of 435 f-words is in danger.

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