Two young officers are marked for death after confiscating a small cache of money and firearms from the members of a notorious cartel, during a routine traffic stop.
Directed: David Ayer
What we think: “I am the police, and I’m here to arrest you. You’ve broken the law.” comes officer Brian Taylor’s (Gyllenhaal) opening monologue in which we see a car chase and shoot out from the front dashboard camera view of a Los Angeles black and white.
It’s an indication that this cop film is not going to be as clear cut as any before it, and its no frills policy will surely shock most viewers as officers Taylor and Zavala (Peña) tackle everything from the mundane to the murderous on their watch.
We follow the pair during their daily routines which includes in the locker room, the briefing room as well as unique camera set ups from inside the patrol car and a hand held that Taylor carries along with him.
It’s incredibly well shot, and takes the conventional cop film and gives it a big slice of realism. It would give you the impression of what a real ride along might include, and the kinds of situations they find themselves in.
These situations might affect you in different ways, like the one involving two young children, which is particularly hard to watch. Director David Ayer has not shied away from the brutality of the surroundings the officers find themselves in, and uncomfortable scenarios are all part and parcel of this job
It’s not long before they start to ruffle a few feathers not just on the streets but within their own department. When they uncover a drug cartel which is a small piece of a very large jigsaw they are marked for death.
The film is also looked at from the view point of LA’s criminal underworld, where it seems everyone has a hand held camera and likes to film themselves. It seems a bit stupid really and maybe Ayer should have kept that side of the story to the conventional camera, it doesn’t work all that well if I’m honest.
The relationship between Taylor and Zavala is probably the most believable of any on screen buddy cop partnerships, not since Lethal Weapon (the first film at least) has a pairing conveyed such emotion and chemistry. You’d almost believe that these two had been together for years.
Ayer has had plenty of experience in this field already, having written the scripts for S.W.A.T, Training Day and The Fast and the Furious, but those films only looked at cops from the outside. End of Watch goes in just that little bit further which helps to make it unique from all the rest.
View the trailer
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