Review – End of Watch

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Our latest review is the LAPD action drama ‘End of Watch’.

The film is both written and directed by David Ayers, whose previous work as a director was the 2005 Harsh Times, but as a writer includes police and crime drama’s Training Day, SWAT, and Dark Blue. The film was made on a very low budget (approx $10m) yet delivers a compelling tale of life as a police officer in Los Angeles.

The film follows two LAPD officers played by Jake Gyllenhaal (Prisoners, Source Code, Southpaw) and Michael Pena (Ant Man, The Lincoln Lawyer, Fury). The sees the two through their day to day police activities over a period where we also see their personal lives evolving.

The set up of the film sees Officer Taylor (Gyllenhaal) filming his day to day duties on a camcorder. Through this the footage regularly uses the handheld footage which adds to a sense of realism and tension through the film.

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The situations that the officers encounter include some brutal encounters that include gangland violence, a house fire and attacks on fellow police officers.

In terms of their personal lives, Anna Kendrick stars as the love interest for Gyllenhaal’s Taylor and Natalie Martinez stars as Gabby Zavala, wife of Pena’s Mike Zavala.

There are some challenging moments in the film as you get a sense of the situations that some officers can be faced with, however its a solid movie that really captures a huge achievement by the two leads, successfully avoiding drifting into a traditional LAPD buddy cop routine.

7/10

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