Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal, Michael Peña
WOW. That's my initial one-word impression of this movie. It absolutely blew me away. I'm a big fan of cop movies, Training Day being hands down my favourite and I also love Street Kings with Keanu. David Ayer? The guy who wrote, directed and produced End of Watch also happened to write/produce Training Day and direct Street Kings. It's easy to say if you enjoyed those you'd enjoy this one, it's true, but don't let that make you think it's anything like those two movies. I'd argue it's better than both. Yes I haven't watched Training Day for years so my memory may be failing me on how good Training Day is but I'm just trying to illustrate how good I really think End of Watch is. I went so far as to call it the Movie of the Year. Briefly convincing myself it was better than the Dark Knight Rises. It isn't, but the fact that I had to think about it is saying something.
ANYWAY, Ayer, who also wrote S.W.A.T went away from the corrupt-cop narrative with End of Watch in this brilliant story about two partners, the good guys, the hot shots, that cruise in their black and white through some of the toughest streets in L.A. Brutal and gritty as shit. Filmed partially as a documentary (under the premise of Gyllenhaal's character shooting a video for film school), it's not some cheap gimmick following on from the likes of Project X etc. It's actually a fascinating way to tell this touching story about the brotherhood and friendship of these two cops and what they go through. Not just on the job but it chronicles their after-hours lives which is obviously affected by their day jobs.
I'll admit to be a little biased as not only do I love cop movies but Peña and Gyllenhaal are among my favourite actors and I thought they were phenomenal. Every time they got a call to go beat down a door or something I was terrified for their safety. That's the connection I felt to their characters and the way the story was told. A fantastic movie that I already can't wait to watch again.
Check out the trailer and see if it doesn't pump your nuts up: