Brian Taylor (Jake Gyllenhaal) and Mike Zavala (Michael Pena) are two young Los Angeles cops, that risk their lives on a daily basis on the streets full of drug dealers, armed gangs, and just plain shady characters.
Despite the overwhelming pressure being put on Taylor and Zavala at work, they’re “partners for life”, as officers are not only ready to cover each others’ backs when necessary, they’re also friends off duty.
Zavala is more of a family man, while Taylor is more of a loner, still trying to figure out how to “settle down”, and have a normal life outside of his uniform. He also carries a camera with him at work, documenting some of what the officers’ daily duties consist of.
Speaking of these daily duties, one day during a routine traffic stop, Taylor and Zavala confiscate a bag of money and weapons from the members of a notorious cartel. This turned out to be a turning point for them, as soon both cops are marked for death by the leaders of the cartel.
David Ayer’s “End of Watch” works on many levels, first of which is – the film looks and feels incredibly real, partially because of the style of directing, minimum of music, extensive use of urban, street dialogue and the reality of modern Los Angeles.
Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Pena as the two police officers have tremendous chemistry on screen – it wouldn’t be surprising if the two actually became friends after the shooting of the film was over.
Director David Ayer at times make “End of Watch” look like a real-time documentary, adding more and more realism with each scene, making a viewer feel what sometimes a usual cop’s life really is.
The film might not have a very high entertaining factor, but it definitely leaves an impression, no matter a good one or a bad one.
“End of Watch” at times makes you believe it was done on a really low budget, while it really was not. Regardless, the film has achieved its goal.
It’s up to you, whether to accept the film as another urban crime drama, or as David Ayer’s unofficial tribute to real-life police officers, who risk their lives on a daily basis – the film is worth checking out for more than one reason.
Speaking of Jake Gyllenhaal – who is the most noticeable actor in the film – with time, “End of Watch” should prove to have been a much more meaningful addition to his acting career than “Prince of Persia”.
BZFILM SCALE: 7/10
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