End of Watch is a buddy cop movie set in the gritty, gang infested, violent section of South Los Angeles, a place you have to wonder why anyone would want to serve as a cop in.
It features Michael Peña, an actor whom I always end up forgetting the name of but whose face I remember and Jake Gyllenhaal, whom you can never forget. After this movie, I doubt I’ll forget either as it is certainly one of the most powerful cop movies I have ever watched.
Immediately the comparisons to Training Day, also by writer David Ayer are there but with a far kinder opinion towards the police. Another direct comparison is Robert Duvall and Sean Penn’s Colors, but that movie was so long ago I don’t remember most of it, and it has a lot more different theme.
I don’t really want to get into the details of the story and the characters here because that in itself isn’t really special nor new. Two cops on a dangerous beat, both young and starting out in life with the hopes and dreams of their generation. Nothing spectacular, seen that done that.
It’s in how regular they are though which makes the story special. Thru them you realize the hardships those in uniform go through on a daily basis especially in high crime areas such as theirs is difficult to process. Your empathy with both is strong because of their regularity, because you understand who they are, a victory in how well theirs and those characters around them are laid out.
But most of all it is a lesson in keeping your values straight in life in the middle of chaos and uncertainty, wrapped in terrific, gripping action that will keep you glued to your seat. I think I like the movie most because of that.