End of Watch

September 23, 2012 at 1:40 pm | Posted in 2012 | Leave a comment
Tags: , , , , , ,

◊ ◊ ◊ ½

As far as the fast-paced, thrill ride, cop drama goes, I would say this belongs near the top of the list.  Through a clever use of hand-held cameras mixed with the more traditional, stationary ones, the viewer is easily drawn into the steady stream of action on screen.  The film covers three months in the lives of two beat officers (Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Peña) in South Central L.A., one of whom is video taping their tours of duty for a class.  We get some scenes of criminals who are recording themselves or the officers in their personal lives at weddings, quinceañeras, etc. but most of the film focuses on these two men on duty.  Scenes of them laughing and joking with each other feel intimate and real and the audience laughs with their easy camaraderie.   Likewise, scenes of violent engagement are tense and I could feel my heart racing.  While this film could have been a series of disconnected scenes (ie a random slice of life for two cops), it definitely has a narrative arc that builds toward a fairly predictable ending.  That one flaw aside, I found the movie engaging and fun for what it was: a grown-ups cop/buddy movie.


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