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Review: End of Watch

November 19, 2012

Film + Entertainment | by Francesco Cerniglia

End of Watch is yet another cop movie with an all-too-familiar bromance between a pretty white boy and his funny Mexican sidekick in south central LA. You get every conventional element of any good-cop-bad-cop film you’ve seen in the last forever of your life, with little left to the imagination. Beyond the basest of expectations, director David Ayer gives us a weak dialogue, barely any room for a story and definitely not enough action.

As per usual, a vast majority of the film is performed in the front seat of the car. If I wanted to ride around with two morons all day listening to them talk about girls I’d just walk over to the local pub. Even though these policemen look like total fools, they end up scoring recognition for accidental successes in catching crime and get to walk away for all the technical homicide they pull killing the bad guys. I’m not sure what message we’re sending out about American cops, but it doesn’t look like a bright one. There isn’t even a reason why these cops have dirt on them; they’re just not good cops for any apparent reason.

It boggles my mind that the director is also the creator of the iconic cop movie Training Day. Some moments of the film are completely unnecessary and add nothing to the development of the story. There’s a series of found footage that gives us really bad angles of not-so-hot Jake Gyllenhaal with his head shaved. There are some accidental cases of homicide and human trafficking but we don’t really find out what any of this is about and instead are just mildly disturbed by some random surprises. The bad guys also make their own home videos for God knows why and it’s not even used to thicken the plot. Talk about a serious waste of footage, literally.

I don’t know if this is worth mentioning, but half of the film involves the main cop Brian Taylor (Jake Gyllenhaal) settling down with a woman Janet (Anna Kendrick) and we realise this isn’t a diversion from the bromance but just another way to solidify it by adding more bodies to the family. Maybe it’s a way to paint a broader picture about these guys outside their police car, but again it feels like another passing phase in this otherwise regular cop’s life of guns, violence, locker room jokes and fist fights. What’s new?

Amanda Chen.

End of Watch is released in UK cinemas on Friday 23rd November 2012