Film Review: End of Watch (2012)

My rating: ★★★★½

End of Watch is a thrilling action drama film incorporating the elements of hand-held footage. What’s great about this movie is that Jake Gyllenhaal (Source Code, Prince of Persia, Brothers, Zodiac, Brokeback Mountain, The Day After Tomorrow) and Michael Peña (30 Minutes or Less, Everything Must Go, Observe and Report, Shooter, World Trade Center) give amazing performances along with the rest of the cast such as Janet (Anna Kendrick, known for her portrayal as Jessica Stanley in Twilight film franchise), Gabby (Natalie Martinez), Van Houser (David Harbour) , Sarge (Frank Grillo) and Orozco (America Ferrera). This film is another turning point for Gyllenhaal, he’s an Academy Award nominee (for Brokeback Mountain in 2005) and I think he might get nominated this season as well, such an outstanding performance he delivers in this film as he has never done something like this before and that’s why it’s so brilliant.

Written and directed by David Ayer, who previously worked on films such as Street Kings (2008), Harsh Times (2005), Training Day (2001), End of Watch proves to be the best work of Ayer so far. Screenplay seems so real at certain points, you can really imagine how hard it gets for the cops to deal with all the stuff in the streets. All the credits go to Ayer for giving us something so close to reality. Ayer’s Training Day won Denzel Washington an Academy Award for Best Actor in 2001. And I think it’s a sign that Gyllenhaal might at least get a nomination in Best Actor considering the fact that so many brilliant films were released in 2012 and are yet to be released.

Best thing about this film is that it is not what it seems. Brian Taylor (Jake Gyllenhaal) and Mike Zavala (Michael Peña) are not just funny cops, their relationship and the storyline of the film go much deeper than that. This film reveals that cops have emotions, too. They’re willing to risk their lives for the members of general public and they don’t seem to care about themselves. Taylor and Zavala have been partners for years and they are so close and treat each other like a family which becomes pretty clear in the magical ending of the movie, sometimes even a sentence is enough to express your emotions. The film depicts how the cops live their lives and how much crap they have to deal with out there in the field and how they manage all that. You can feel a connection in between all of the cast members whether positive or negative but it’s just there. Overall, End of Watch is an outstanding action drama film with the strong acting and superb direction one should not miss.

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