End Of Watch
Directed by David Ayer
Being that this is directed by the screenwriter of "Training Day", I can't say I am too surprised at the similarities is has with this. The only difference is that I actually liked End Of Watch. Quite a lot.
The found-footage gimmick does not work well with this movie. If I were to make a single complaint about it, that is what it would be. Unless we're meant to believe the entire world has cameras positioned pretty much everywhere that we see these shots from, which doesn't seem very likely, the practicality of this is lost on me. Oh well, it doesn't matter much, as the pseudo-documentary style certainly does add some form of authenticity, making the events seem all the more palpable. We find ourselves growing attached to these characters, and this is partially due to this camera style, which brings us up-close and personal.
The two leads, played by Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Pena are as believable, likeable, and well-matched as any on-screen pair in a film this year. Both performances are fantastic (especially Pena), and their chemistry is what really makes it work. It would be hard to believe these two actors wouldn't be best friends off-screen as well, that's how well they work together. And it's because of this excellent pairing that this movie works so well. You feel their relationship, not just see it, and it holds genuine weight.
As is the case in most cop dramas, there is a significant amount of language - especially from the film's villains - that can become slightly distracting at times. You find yourself wondering why people feel the need to talk like that. But, at the same time, I won't question the authenticity of dialogue like this. Regardless, it does become something worthy of a steady flow of dramatic eye-rolls and heavy sighs. And my condolences to anyone attempting to watch this movie on network TV. You won't understand a single @#$%ing thing anyone in this @#$%ing movie is @#$%ing saying to any @#$% that @#$% is @#$5 @#$% being said. Actually, that would probably be pretty entertaining.
I don't traditionally like cop dramas, or buddy movies of any kind, for that matter. "Formulaic" is the word that instantly springs to mind to describe both of these types of film. And while this movie certainly has its fair share of generics at work, it's how it rises above them to present its compelling story that sets it apart. A stripped-down script, with believable performances and just enough emotion and action to hold it all together. All-in-all, this is a really good movie.