Review~ Date Movie Or Violent L.A. Gang Stupidity, You Choose – Jake Gyllenhaal; End of Watch

End of Watch, with Jake Gyllenhaal, Michael Pena, Natalie Martinez & Anna Kendrick.  David Ayer, Director.  I don’t usually watch movies that focus on cops.  It’s just not my style.  But was interested that Gyllenhaal was in this, as his taste is usually excellent & his performances are always remarkable.  Honestly, I’m able to realize if a movie is a winner; even though it didn’t float my boat.  This was one such.

I am going to call it a bit of a folderol, even though you may likely enjoy it.  Why?  Because it goes on & on about sentiment, brotherly love, settling down & breeding brats & lots of discussion about all of the above.  So – date movie.  Right.  Yup.  However; I’m not sure the female member of your excursion is going to enjoy the gang violence.

The film deals with the rough & tumble, unwashed & disgusting-lower classes in Los Angeles’ South Central district.  Personally, I’ve only been in & out of that place once, by mistake – many years ago.  Looking for directions I got off the freeway.  Found myself driving down a frightening street, found a frightening gas station with bullet-proof glass & a frightened attendant.  I left quickly.  Needless to say, it’s not a pleasant place & it’s filled with more than any area’s share of really crappy people.  Not kidding.

Police partners Gyllenhaal & Pena, call this place their beat.

Gyllenhaal is superb as usual, playing a tough -dude- & hotshot along with his partner, Pena.  Who matches talent, toe to toe.  Gyllenhaal’s young.  Not sure why he plays all these tough guy roles.  Perhaps to purposely type-cast himself as a ladies champion?  Food for thought, huh.

Filming was a combination of the personal cameras, of all sizes that everyone -& their cars- seem to have an abundance.  Great clear, up close shots put you in the patrol vehicles.  Not quite Blair-Witch-like but you get the total experience of what it’s like for the policemen.  It’s not all minute by minute horror, as you can imagine.  Quite an amount of sentimentality & -discussions- of love & life happen in the car between the friends.  Date movie material.  Unless you’re a cop.

I found it a bit tiresome because it’s not quite my cup of tea.  The whole youthful, hotshot, sarcasm thing got a bit on my nerves.  I didn’t relate to it, but that’s not required.  The idea, in my book, is the story.  Immersion in the experience & a different outlook, by someone else in their universe of experience & adventure.  Still, the movie did spend a little too much time in character development & the all too-American experience of friendship, weddings & babies.

I’m going to go out on a limb with this one & say that it’s a good movie, despite what seems to be a tradition this year of inserting too much of the maudlin.

Martinez plays Pena’s wife.  She’s average in her portrayal of the devoted wife-friend.  Perhaps if she’d put a little more gumption into her smile she’d have outdone Kendrick’s appalling & minor role as Gyllenhaal’s girlie.  I’m not liking Kendrick.  I find her smarmy & suspicious.  Totally insincere & a bit creepy.  A wallflower that you’d never trust.

I recommend this film, if you can stand cop movies.  Gyllenhaal takes the day & Pena is delightful.  Ignore the vulgarity, it’s their world.


3 responses

  1. I thought the movie had great realism. Although, I wonder the odds that the same two cops could be involved in so many wild circumstances…. saving kids from a fire, finding chopped bodies, finding kids that are duct taped, etc. It made me think… Dang it is hard to be a cop, I couldn’t handle it.

  2. Right-ee-o then, we’ll watch. I admit that I’m not overly keen on gang violence or gangster type people because they’re simply disgusting. I don’t believe there’s any excuse for crime and I think of them as society’s cancer; yet, I do pity the parents and innocent children who are inadvertently drawn into this kind of life. I like Gyllenhaal so I’ll watch it this weekend. Thanks for that.