End of Watch | Movie review

End of Watch film movie poster

Classification: 18
Genre: Drama, thriller, action
Running Time: 120 minutes
Director: David Ayer
Cast: Jake Gyllenhaal, Michael Peña and Anna Kendrick

Synopsis: “End Of Watch stars Academy Award nominee Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Peña as young Los Angeles police officers Taylor and Zavala as they patrol the city`s meanest streets of south central L.A. Giving the story a gripping, first-person immediacy, the action unfolds entirely through footage from the handheld HD cameras of the police officers, gang members, surveillance cameras, and citizens caught in the line of fire to create a riveting portrait of the city`s darkest, most violent corners, the cops who risk their lives there every day, and the price they and their families are forced to pay” (GSC Movies).

Verdict: Perhaps one of the best police films (which revolves around two partners) that I’ve seen. End of Watch is an engaging, hilarious and heartfelt unique movie with a relatively common plot. Its smart 3/4 found footage/handheld style benefits the truthful and gritty nature of the story. The film manages to have two men of different ethnicity saying “I love you” to each other without seeming gay, not even to someone extremely homophobic. The development of the two protagonists is so well done, it actually feels genuine. It shows a whole new level of “bromance”. Hats off to the very convincing acting and chemistry between Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Pena.

Second opinions: “This is a pretty good film” (Josh Chow). “It’s not the typical police movie I was expecting it to be; I cried…” (Iris Loong).

Malaysian censorship: The F-words are practically heard in every minute and there are some pretty gruesomely disturbing scenes as well. Thank goodness, nothing was cut! If anything was censored, it would’ve been completely unwatchable. No idea how but GSC Movies always get away with it, which is good for their customers like me.

Rating: 4.5 / 5

Is there any message in the movie? I’m not entirely sure but from how I look at it, there are a few. One, don’t do other people’s job. Two, don’t ignore any sort of warnings or advice, not even from crooks and people you don’t like. And three, don’t be an ass to your colleagues. The first two’s obvious, if you’ve seen the film. The third one is just a personal point of view. Throughout the movie, we can see the two characters pulling gags on their fellow officers and disregarding all complaints. Usually when they call for backup, they come pretty quickly but at the end when they get ambushed, their colleagues take longer than usual. If they weren’t such asses, it is to believed that their fellow officers would be instinctively more eager to respond for their need for backup quicker.

The only thing that doesn’t make sense is… why one of the Latino gang members records their conversations in their vehicle. The film’s not fully “found footage” so there really isn’t a point for that. Or perhaps they only decided to mix up the style during post-production.

Most hilarious scene: The scene at Brian’s (Gyllenhaal) wedding when he, his bride (Anna Kendrick), Mike (Pena) and his wife talk about their adventurous sex activities.

Funny racist joke: “I gotta go. I’m taking her to the opera,” says Brian. His Mexican partner responds, “Sure, go enjoy your white people stuff.” Brian replies, “When I get back, I’ll get you a burito.”

Did I cry at the end? I admit that my eyes were a bit teary during the funeral scene.

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