End of Watch – 4/5 – Movie Reviews by RY!

End of Watch – 4/5 … Found footage films.  Very passé this kind of filming can be, but mostly are used in the horror genre.  The past couple years though, this style of filming has made its way into other genres like action and comedy, with some stellar results.  This movie is no exception.  Going into this movie, I had an understanding that this was going to be a movie about police, patrols and daily lives of cops.  Instead of just being generic popcorn entertainment, this movie actually was deeply invoking and a great movie experience.

This movie follows the life of two LA police officers, Brian Taylor and Mike Zavala, played by Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Pena.  You follow them as these two police officers go on normal routine calls and traffic stops, until one stop leads them down a path that makes them marked men by the Cartel.  In typical fashion, you get the general high-jinx that is involved in police work.  Even for this generality, the relationship between these two partners are very real, raw and in depth.  You see the brother like mentality between them as well as the wit and charm that comes when interacting with their families and in the police car, when they’re talking.  Jake and Michael do a fantastic job as LA police officers.  They were very stern, hot headed but at the same time, do know how to have a good time.   You feel like you are really attached to this characters and know them, and this come full effect when the story gets really deep and dire in the climax.  For all that happens in the movie, this is when you see the heart of the film.

This movie, being found footage, has to be effective in portraying something in reality.  The movie does a fantastic job in show the complexity that it is to be a police officer in the LAPD, as well as providing spirit and appeal when things are slow or when the movie focuses on the character developing of the main cops.  One thing that is very enjoyable about this movie is the macho-ism banter between these two cops, as well as with their interaction with fellow police officers.  You felt the truth in everything they did.  You really believed it.   When things finally starts to go down, you feel attentive, attracted to the violence and you are on your seat wondering what will happen next, as it strikes a chord within.

The theme of realism is felt vividly throughout the film, with its great cinematography in its shots in the heart of south-central and around places in LA.  The supporting cast provides a standard picture of everyday life.  They also, even when it felt typical, provided true conflict in their portrayals of real gang life as well as an eye into the Cartel.

A movie based in ‘found footage’ that provides downhearted warmness, as well as grit and deep feeling shows true remarks on how good the director did.  He gave great direction in portraying real life in its purest form.  I recommend to see this in theaters as well as buying on Blu-Ray.

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