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.