Saturday, September 29, 2012

Movie Review: “End of Watch”

   I am an ardent fan of the cinematic arts. Although I have certain genre preferences, I don’t let that stifle my curiosity and close myself to different flavors of entertainment. That said...I am a huge fan of science fiction, super hero and action movies! Please visit my other blog The Boxed Office for reviews, exclusively, on these types of movies.

The Cast: 

   Jake Gyllenhaal has come a long way from his days as Donny Darko. He is very convincing as Officer Brian Taylor, and ex-Marine completely submerged in his job, while at the same time committed to a film project for his continuing education. Michael Peña exhibits true star quality in this film as Officer Mike Zavala, a street punk turned police officer at the direction of his childhood girlfriend, now wife, vested in his marriage and family life...with a genuine desire to make a difference.

The Plot:

   Officer Taylor (Gyllenhaal) and Officer Zavala (Peña) are in the thick of it. Patrolling the mean streets of L.A., every patrol is one adventure after the other...and gunfire is a common occurrence. 

   Taylor is filming their shifts with hidden cameras for a film project, often narrating the action. A call of a man harassing a mailman leads to a fight between the man and Officer Zavala, which Zavala wins...but doesn’t report per the terms of the engagement. This earns Zavala the respect of the man, a reputed gang member, and leads to an ominous warning later on in the film.

   A noise disturbance call leads to their first confrontation with Big Evil, unbeknownst to them, a Cartel operative. Taylor later decides to make a “routine” traffic stop after staking out Big Evil’s house, yielding gold plated guns and loads of cash. This encounter sets the stage for a series of other events...that eventually lead to the Cartel placing a bounty on both officers.

   Big Evil, ordered to handle the problem of be handled, sets up an elaborate trap for the officers and sets them on an unalterable course with destiny.

The Verdict: 

   The first thing that sets this movie apart from others is the cinematography. The film is primarily seen from the camera point of view of the cameras Taylor uses to film his job. This approach is not overused and well done as it adds a certain realism to the film, making it very edgy.

   The second thing that makes this film stand out is the superb acting of Gyllenhaal and Peña. It’s not so much the fact that the deliver Oscar performances, but the onscreen chemistry between them just has to be real. These men, from two very different cultures, are brothers that have immersed themselves in the life of the other...and it only adds to the overall delivery of the twists, turns and shocks of the film.

   Lastly, the excellent script and directing kept this movie running on all cylinders and kept me pumped for the entire ride. It is heavy on drama, with gritty and suspenseful action...and the comedy is something everyone can relate to if you have a dear friend thats like family...and the banter is all love. This film spiked my tea with four spicy cinnamon sticks...out of five. Don’t miss this one.

1 comment: