End of Watch (15)

Film

Thrillers

Jake Gyllenhaal, left, and Michael Pena in End of Watch

Time Out rating:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>3</span>/5

User ratings:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>4</span>/5
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Time Out says

Posted: Mon Sep 24 2012

As the writer of ‘Training Day’ and the director of ‘Street Kings’, David Ayer knows a thing or two about dirty cops. Well, maybe a few members of the force sat him down and had a quiet word, because ‘End of Watch’ is a gushing tribute to the boys in blue.

Jake Gyllenhaal plays Brian, a no-bullshit LAPD patrolman who cruises the suburban streets with his partner and closest friend, Mike (Michael Peña). We follow these two jobbing officers as they bust a few crooks, get into some close scrapes and end up on the wrong side of a psychotic Mexican drug cartel. In the meantime, Brian woos and wins Janet (Anna Kendrick), while Mike wrestles with his wife’s uncertainty about his life-threatening day job.

Plenty about this that works. Gylenhaal and especially Peña seem completely at home in their roles: the scenes where they simply drive around the neighbourhood engaging in prickly macho banter are the best in the film.

But Ayer has made one crucial decision which all but sinks ‘End of Watch’: this is a found footage movie. Beginning with Brian’s attempts to film his day-to-day experiences for a college project (the LAPD are supposed to be okay with this?) and continuing through the eyes of in-car cameras, smartphones and surveillance footage, the film is entirely put together from shaky, grainy snippets of digital film. It’s a distracting and occasionally laughable tactic: a scene where the bad guys just happen to outline their evil plans to an iPhone camera feels totally ludicrous.

Filmed differently, ‘End of Watch’ might have been an impressive piece of work: sentimental and a touch overemphatic, probably, but it could also have been heartfelt and believable. As it is, this cop drama is intermittently enjoyable but incredibly frustrating.

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Release details

Rated:

15

UK release:

Fri Nov 23, 2012

Duration:

109 mins

Cast and crew

Director:

David Ayer

Screenwriter:

David Ayer

Cast:

Jake Gyllenhaal, Michael Peña, Anna Kendrick

Users say

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<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>0</span>/5

Average User Rating

3.2 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:2
  • 4 star:3
  • 3 star:2
  • 2 star:2
  • 1 star:0
LiveReviews|11
1 person listening
philsee

Video diary style footage to give the impression of fly-on-the-wall record. Still hard to believe it's anything but fiction. The wives are beautiful, the cameraderie solid when it matters. Kiddies are only ever saved from low-life neglect. No asthmatic grannies are tazered in their homes, nobody gets harassed for victimless crimes, no civilians get shot by the LAPD who don't deserve to be. Jake G has blue eyes and a nice smile, and emotes appropriately and well.

Ric

Wasnt until a police officer got stabbed in the eye that decided to take note. 1st half was mince,usual police male big ego crap. 2nd half was good but tell me if the are trying to make the story realistic then why do the movie makers INSIST that 2 people can dodge 3 armed men with machine guns from say 10 meters,how inept are people? Anyway i was happy that it made up for that stupid incident & in the end s*#t happens!

critique

Huddleston is the most misleading of reviewers; as others have pointed out, this is not "a found footage movie". Nevertheless, some of the filmiing modes are gimmicky and detract from the powerful, gritty narrative. Cracking soundtrack and moments of great intensity but the whole could have been even better with more conventional photography, fuller characterisation and one or two further tweaks I won`t suggest here for fear of spoiling. Three and a half stars.

Danuta in Glasgow

I enjoyed it - full of action with some comedy between the 2 main cops but also some quite gritty action - probably represents real day to day life of the cops anyway. You do see the bond between the 2 cops developing over the film.

mlclmb

Great film with a filming style didn't once cross my mind. Great acting and quickly bought into the characters. Hollywood ending nipped a little but still excellent. One of the best action films since Drive.

mlclmb

Great film with a filming style didn't once cross my mind. Great acting and quickly bought into the characters. Hollywood ending nipped a little but still excellent. One of the best action films since Drive.

Jag

Ignore the reviewer's comments about "found footage" as it makes up less than 50% of the film and, for the most part, feels credible and isn't in the slightest way "distracting". Listen to his comments and you'll miss the best cop film since "Heat" and best film (of any genre) I've seen all year, IMHO.

Jag

Ignore the reviewer's comments about "found footage" as it makes up less than 50% of the film and, for the most part, feels credible and isn't in the slightest way "distracting". Listen to his comments and you'll miss the best cop film since "Heat" and best film (of any genre) I've seen all year, IMHO.

scrumpyjack

COLORS for today's ADHT crowd. Oh it's (fuck fuck, mother fuckin' fuck-tickity boo you fuckin' fuck) good alright, but real footage? errrr WHY? runs through the entire piece. Still, today's kids won't question it. 7/10

Iain

Yes the filming style is a bit silly (especially the bad guys bit mentioned above) but the whole film isn't in this style. There are plenty of scenes that are not supposed to be from any characters camera and overall I don't think it detracts from the film. It's clearly not a work of art but I found myself really engaged with the characters, caring what happened for them and getting genuinly excited/worried in certain sections. For what is clearly a mainstream film aimed at those that enjoyed Training Day and the like this is a very good film and well worth sticking with the camera schtick.