Run Time: 109 min.
Director: David Ayer
For officers Taylor (Jake Gyllenhaal) & Zavala ( Michael Pena) at the end of every day of work they simply are happy to be alive. The two young officers patrol the rough streets of Los Angeles and have a keen eye for gang activity in the city. When a somewhat random stop results in a gang member taking a shot at the officers things get turned side ways as the two find themselves showing up on the radar of a Mexican drug cartel. While most officers after an incident like this would lay low for a while, officer Taylor gets adrenaline kick out of it and continues to pursue the case based off of the evidence found in the truck. As Taylor and Zavala dig deeper into what they think is nothing more than standard gang activity they discover (thanks to a confidential informant) that they have been green lighted. Green lighted in the world of gangs simply means that the leader of a gang or cartel have put a price on your head and want you dead. While all of this activity on the streets the two officers lives outside of work are in a state of flux as officer Taylor has begun dating Janet (Anna Kendrick) and officer Zavala is soon to be a father. But none of that matter to the shot callers of the Mexican cartel. All they are interested in is seeing the two officers in body bags.
End of Watch is brought to us from the brilliant director David Ayer who also directed Training Day so that should give you a good idea as to just how edgy this movie is. An interesting aspect of End of Watch is that nearly 50% of the movie is shot from a point of view of a handheld camera that officer Taylor is carrying around as part of his film class that he is taking while going to school in the evening. There are points where this point of style can play with your eyes and even give you a headache but at the end of it all it lends it self to the overall roughness of the movie as a whole. At the same time the point of view camera style takes you as the viewer deeper into both of the lives of the officers outside of work and helps you view them more as everyday human beings. There are many touching scenes that between the two officers that shows us their ever evolving “brotherhood” along with their insight into their relationships with the females in their lives. This movie is not for everyone but if you liked Training Day, you will love this movie.
Overall Grade – B+