Sydney Social 101 was invited to attend the screening of End of Watch, a new film written and directed by the writer of Training Day. The setting of the scenes for the film is very similar to what you would normally expect from a cop/ thriller movie, but the difference here is that most the film is seen through a handheld camera. I have to be honest and admit that I’m really not fond about this new popular craze with films nowadays. I find that more often than not they can affect the viewing experience and provide a shaky frame, which can be prone to making the viewer feel like they are on a boat in a storm. However, with End of Watch I found that I forgot all about the camera after a while, which I was definitely pleased about.
The film follows two police officers, Brian Taylor (Jake Gyllenhaal), and Mike Zavala (Michael Peña). In their mission to abide by their oath to serve and protect, Officer Brian Taylor (Jake Gyllenhaal) and
Officer Mike Zavala (Michael Peña) have formed a powerful brotherhood to ensure they both go home at
the END OF WATCH. The only guarantee for these officers is that there are no guarantees when patrolling
the streets of South Central, Los Angeles.
Between the blue lights, blaring sirens and adrenaline pumping action thrives an honest and often
humorous banter between partners who spend most of their days in a police car awaiting the next call. The
officers have formed a bond that allows them to function as a unit in the face of danger, knowing full well,
at any moment, they could be called on to lay down their lives.
The film follows Brian filming the project with the camera as they go about their daily routine policing dangerous South Central. The highlight of the film for me was the constant banter between the two main characters, you find that most of the time they’re tearing into each other about non important issues, but from the word go you can see there is a strong bond between them. The chemistry between the two leads is definitely tangible! The strong performance from Jake Gyllenhaal, which was expected and the ensuing relationship with his on-screen partner ensure that the momentum of the film keeps on going.
The story takes the viewer on a journey and you are invited to be a ‘fly on the wall’ as they go about their day-to-day business, which involves keeping the peace on a few call standard calls outs.
Unfortunately for the partners they stumble across a couple of big drug busts that are run by one of the local Hispanic gangs. The connections to the gang are higher up the tree than they know. This in turn leads to retaliation from the gang on the two officers. As the film builds in speed and action, so does the violence with all out shootings and some horrific scenes which I won’t spoil. It leads in to a great and unexpected ending.
If your genre of music is hip-hop and rap then you will enjoy the soundtrack with a couple of classic songs and some great new ones.
I would recommend End of Watch for anyone who enjoyed films like Boyz in the Hood, Menace 2 Society and of course Training Day.
Sydney Social gives End of Watch 8/10.
End of Watch is released in cinemas across Australia on 29th November 2012.
Syrus Wynne, Sydney Social 101’s roving ‘Bloke’ reporter attended the screening of ‘End of Watch’ as a guest of Roadshow Films.