End of Watch (2012)
David Ayer is no stranger to cop movies more specifically LAPD movies. His first go at a LAPD movie was Training Day which he wrote, he then went on to write Dark Blue and S.W.A.T. a couple of years later he directed Street Kings. So it is no surprise that his newest movie is also based on LAPD officers. However unlike most of his other work which has ranged from great to mediocre, End of Watch is a coherently fun buddy cop movie.
The movie follows a pair of LAPD officers Brian Taylor (Jake Gyllenhaal) and Miguel Zavala (Michael Pena) as they patrol South Central Los Angeles. Things get hairy for the pair as they come upon a trio of local gangsters with no regard for human life and the Mexican cartel who want them dead.
I didn’t have much expectations going into the movie as the trailer made it look like another subpar cop movie. However I was pleasantly surprised when it turned out to be a decently written and well-acted movie with a lot of heart. It quickly pulled me into the movie and I soon found myself caring about the two cops and that was mostly because of the great performances by Gyllenhaal and Pena. They own their characters and own the screen every step of the way. Ayer does a nice job spicing up the movie with various camera angles and keeping the movie at a steady pace. The writing could have been a bit better but like I said I never expected much from this so I can’t complain.
The one thing that did kind of take me out of the movie was how most of the action scenes were so unrealistic and almost cartoonish. For example the opening car chase is something straight out of a Grand Theft Auto game which wasn’t too bad but still. The other thing that I found to be incredibly unrealistic was the shoot outs. Again it’s not a deal breaker but I can only suspend my disbelief for so long.
End of Watch is a great buddy cop movie that might be too gung-ho for its own good but is still a fun and genuinely exciting watch. The movie is a non-stop action thrill ride that will leave you wanting more if only just to know the characters a bit more. Overall I recommend this to anyone who has enjoyed Ayer’s previous work or anyone who likes a good action movie, 3 ½ out of 5.