“END OF WATCH” – MOVIE REVIEW #TIFF12
Directed by the same Man who wrote the Screenplay for Training Day, David Ayer, Action/Thriller End of Watch centers around two young Los Angeles Police Officers wanted by members of a Drug Cartel after uncovering only the tip of the iceberg of their illegal activities. Officer Taylor (Jake Gyllenhaal) and Officer Zavala (Michael Peña) form a brother-like bond as they keep the streets safe. While their heroic work begins to get recognition from their peers, it is their ambition ultimately which becomes their greatest Enemy. The Duo get in over their heads with Opponents of the most dangerous kind.
End of Watch quite literally had me on the edge of my seat in agony as its two Heroes sink progressively deeper into a virtual pool of blood. Ayer gets the most thrills from the Audience by what he doesn’t show on-screen, leaving much to the imagination and he captures perfectly the essence and aroma of the toughest streets of south-central Los Angeles. We feel truly that we are there at that Quinceañera or sitting in the backseat of the Police Cruiser.
Gyllenhaal and Peña might seem on-paper like an unusual pairing, but they work convincingly well together, completely believable as Buddies poking-fun at each other, their ammunition being some hilarious stereotypical jokes. Newcomer Corina Calderon is absolutely terrifying as the lone Female in the Drug Cartel in pursuit of Officers Taylor and Zavala, while Anna Kendrick is cast perfectly, radiant as Taylor‘s love interest, Janet. Pleasant surprise also seeing Ugly Betty herself, America Ferrara, branching-out as a tough-as-nails Police Officer.
Is End of Watch Oscar-worthy like Training Day? Not quite, although it is a cut from the same bloody cloth. Will you leave the theatre shaken? Sure-shot… minus its unnecessary final two minutes, perhaps. VVS Films releases End of Watch on September 21, 2012.