End of Watch TIFF 2012 Review

Posted 11 years ago by myetvmedia

David Ayer’s ”End of Watch” is violent, exciting and aesthetically different from most cop movies. Based in a crime infested LA, we follow two run and gun partners, officers Taylor (Jake Gyllenhaal)and Zavala (Michael Pena) who are making their way up through their department. Taylor films every aspect of his day in an attempt to document what it is like to work on the force; an interesting yet flawed technique. With two great performances from Gyllenhaal and Pena this film asks one question: what does it take to be cop?

Being a cop is like being a part of a big family. Respect is earned, loyalty is essential and most of all, you have to protect your partner at all costs. Ayer digs deep into the heart of what’s wrong in LA as a new Mexican cartel is taking over the streets. Taylor and Zavala don’t play by all the rules but they’re good at what they do. Clearly inspired by the ‘COPS’ television show, “End of Watch” tries to bring a fresh feel to the genre.

Taylor’s pet project of filming his shifts really helps establish a new aesthetic for police movies. Ayer is clearly making a statement about today’s current social media age and the need for people to constantly see themselves living their lives. From the cops to the criminals, everyone likes to record what they do. Unfortunately, the rule established at the beginning of the film, that Taylor is the one doing the filming, is broken quickly and frequently. Many angles are used in the editing that he could not possibly have shot. I question why the mix of conventional shooting and this new doc style are being used together, because it can be distracting at times. I wish they would have stuck to their original idea, it could have made for an even better film. Fortunately, this is really the only issue and to some it may even go unnoticed.

“End of Watch” gave me a new perspective on cops and the sacrifices and dangers they have to face on a daily basis. Ayer really helps delve into the psychology of a police officer and what upholding the law is all about. The characters in this film are all multi-layered and fun to watch. As far as being a cop myself one day, I definitely know I could never be one. Putting my life on like they do just seems way to stressful, so I tip my cap to police everywhere.

Car chases, severed bodies, drug busts, shoot outs, murders, crimes and killing, if you like seeing any of those, get a ticket you won’t be disappointed.

-Chris Murphy



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