Wednesday, September 19, 2012

End of Watch Review - 4 Stars

“End of Watch” takes the buddy cop movie to an entirely new level.  Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Pena play LAPD partners patrolling the streets of South Central, where a ruthless drug cartel has moved in.  Small clip on video cameras capture much of the action—as in the series ‘Cops”.  Early on,  Gyllenhaal explains he’s taping his work days for a project.  Since this is LA, that plot devise is believable and the technology gives “End of Watch” surprisingly effective realism.  It captures Pena and Gyllenhaal’s banter in their cruiser and makes us in the audience believe their friendship.  As time passes, we learn more about their lives away from the job which in turn gives us more investment in them.  “End of Watch” makes you believe the dangerous nature of police work.  The ending packs about as powerful a punch as I’ve seen this year.  What might have been another ordinary cop movie feels instead like a cinema break through.  Does it deliver what it promises?  Mean streets made believable.  Is it entertaining?  Fascinating.  Is it worth the price of admission?  One of the year’s stunners.