‘End of Watch’ thrills with dynamic characters and action-packed plot

In today’s filmmaking it’s really difficult to find a film so unpredictable, it’s impossible to guess the ending. “End of Watch” is a riveting action thriller with a suspenseful surprise conclusion, which will leave the audience guessing from start to finish.

“End of Watch” follows the lives of police duo Taylor (Jake Gyllenhaal) and Zavala (Michael Pena) who have just been assigned to patrol a rough part of Los Angeles. Filled with drug cartels and gangs, these partners are unaware of what’s in store.

The story begins when they discover a secret, making them the main target to the biggest drug cartel in LA.

The acting is marvelous, and the dialogue is pure genius. Not in recent years has there been a film so real and gritty. Granted, the “F bomb” is dropped so many times, it would make for a very deadly drinking game, but no one could deny this is real cop language. Not a line goes by without a strong sense of reality and heart.

Gyllenhaal and Pena have amazing chemistry. They seem to feed off of each other in order to create sweet humor, not easily matched by modern day cop flicks.

Most characters are multi-dimensional, and their situations depict real slices of life. The audience is allowed entrance in their lives for the most serious, hilarious, and break-taking moments. It feels almost like watching a reality show, except minus the dumb shallow wannabe celebrities.

Writer/Director David Ayers did an outstanding job of bringing together all the unique aspects of life and his cinematic style is definitely distinctive.

The majority seems to be filmed on a handheld camera held by the characters or the police car camera in order to convey a sense of reality.

This technique may seem unnecessary at first since some scenes may seem blurry and difficult to watch, but this style will grow on you after a while. Toward the end of the film, the style seems to blend in with all other aspects, making it just part of the viewing experience not easily noticed.

The action encompasses all audience members, so any stylistic issue seems nonexistent. Some scenes, however, are filmed in a more professional way, giving no distractions to the hardest to watch scenes.

One of the most interesting aspects of his writing is the fact that there’s no over line story. There obviously is a plot, but the majority of the film focuses on building the relationship between the main characters and showcasing their brilliantly portrayed “bromance.”

This character development proves very crucial in the end. Without feeling for the characters, the inevitable ending would seem pointless.

This is no pretty film filled with sparkles and butterflies; this is a serious day-in-the-life type drama with a sad ending.

Emotions run rampant from start to finish, leaving the audience involved in every line, every movement, and every tear. Emotional points are held tight by the film, as every heartfelt moment in their lives is re-captured.

This film is worth seeing if you enjoy a strong drama with a strong emotional journey made complete by a life like sense of humor.

But if you want the humor to be the central aspect, this may not be the right film for you.


Elizabeth Golden is a former Editor-in-Chief of the University News.

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