Gyllenhaal, Pena thrill in End of Watch

End of Watch is a cop movie with a dangerously fast pulse. Written and directed by David Ayer, who wrote films like Training Day and SWAT, this action packed movie will keep you at the edge of your seat from beginning to end.

The film takes place in Los Angeles and is about two LAPD cops played by Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Peña. As soon as the film starts you are thrown into the stress filled lives of officers Taylor (Gyllenhaal) and Zavalla (Peña) as they race through the streets of Los Angeles in an intense car chase.

Taylor and Zavalla are legends in the amongst their colleagues, known for being tough and getting the job done. They haven’t been on the force for that long but their close partnership and hard work has gotten them a reputation that their co-workers envy. After a few noteworthy arrests they gain the attention of a Mexican Cartel and find themselves skating on thin ice as they try to find out what’s really going on in the streets of South Central, Los Angeles.

The film is shot as if the footage was taken from the characters themselves. When the other cops at the police station ask what Taylor is doing with the camera, he tells them it is a project for school. At times this technique of using the point of view of the characters is really exciting and well put together. However, there are times when you feel like you might get motion sickness.

There are also scenes in the movie where it is rather obvious that a third person is filming, but it doesn’t take too much of the thrill away. Coincidentally, the bad guys are also rolling around with a video camera, which seems silly and unrealistic but still manages to give the audience an interesting point of view.

While End of Watch is an action movie at heart, it has many elements of a drama and quite a few scenes that will make you laugh. As soon as the characters are introduced, you become attached to them, which makes it even more nerve wracking to watch the scenes where they risk their lives.

 

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What really keeps your attention on the screen is how the point of view filming puts you right in the middle of the action. You feel as if you’re sitting in the squad car. When the officers leave the car for a traffic stop, you’re right behind them. The action scenes really get your adrenaline pumping and you might have to take a breath or two when they’re finished.

At the end of the day, you really can’t go wrong with this movie. It reaches many audiences because of the various genre elements that it contains. It’ll make you laugh, cringe and almost want to cry. The plot is full of twists and turns that will keep you guessing throughout the movie. I would recommend it to anyone who can put up with bad language and violence, sorry Grandma.

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