Monday, September 24, 2012
Movie Review: End of Watch
End of Watch details the lives of Officer Brian Taylor (Jake Gyllenhaal) and Mike Savala (Michael Peña) on and off the beat in South Central L.A. While saving the day fighting crime and rescuing citizens the officers uncover a Mexican cartel human trafficing and drug smuggling ring. Their perserverance (and dumb luck) catches the attention of cartel leaders who put a bounty on their heads. Now Officer Taylor and Savala have to rely on each other more than ever to survive until the End of Watch.
End of Watch felt like an episodic reality show detailing the different facets of police life the officers encountered each day. There wasn't the continuity of a single conflict but rather everyday life behind the badge and random events that brought the movie to it's climax. Shoot outs with gangstas on Monday, discovering the cruelty of child neglect on Wednesday, then rescuing a family from a house fire on Friday. Tuesdays and Thurdays were reserved for Savala's therapy sessions as he counseled Taylor on love and life and you don't even want to know about the weekend because somebody lost an eye. Really. The story delivery actually made the movie feel more authentic but at the same time too erratic to squeeze into 109 minutes and dang near impossible to type a (coherent) review.
The constant of End of Watch was Officer Taylor's aspirations of getting off the beat and becoming a detective. Just like Taylor would follow Savala into a burning building, Taylor evoked their bond for Savala to follow him into the fire of making a big bust. Taylor ran down his own hunch about a Mexican gang member that netted a wad of cash, bejeweled and blinged out guns but no drugs which meant no cigar. With his eyes still set on detective, Officer Taylor runs further into the fire with Savala watching his 6 but pretty soon the two officers find themselves about to get burned.
The film flowed a lot smoother if you viewed the police life as a backdrop for Taylor and Savala's personal lives rather than the other way around even though they spent most of their screen time on duty. End of Watch echoed Ladder 49 in that regard and the opening monologue should have been my clue that the movie was about Brian Taylor and Mike Savala the men, not the officers. I only recognized that in hindsight because I was too busy waiting on the 100,000 round shoot out to happen.
What can I say? Typical guy.
End of Watch was a good all-around movie with action, drama, and laughs, it would be greedy to ask for more. I didn't care for how the story was told but then again I'm not a reality tv fan. So if you channel surf between wives' shows and First 48 then End of Watch will definitely float your boat.
Movie Moment of Zen: *way too many so here's just a few*
"Once upon a time in South Central L.A. ..."
Officer Taylor and girlfriend Janet (Anna Kendrick) rapping the hook to Cam'ron's 'Hey Ma'
"I'm not gay but if he asked me to go down on him I would"
"I can't tell when you're joking. I need to know when you're joking. You're joking, right!?"
And I could have swore they rode by Ricky's memorial in that back alley (#SeeWhatIdidThere?)
Disclaimer: I’m an employee of Turner Broadcasting, a division of Time Warner, however the views expressed in this post are of my own.