End of Watch Directed by: David Ayer Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal, Michael Peña, Anna Kendrick Rating: R Release Date: September 21, 2012
TRAILER SCORE: 7/10
Thoughts by TSR: One thing is clear: David Ayer is giving End of Watch a style all its own. I’m just not sure that’s a good thing. While some of the jumping between styles is off-putting, there are still good moments. The shootout viewed through the patrol car cam is effective, but some of the shakier stuff rubs me the wrong way. I would like to see something ambitious like this work, though, so I’m not going to write it off just yet.
I may not be convinced the aesthetic will be anything other than a distraction, but at least it’s trying something unique. Combine that with Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Peña and it’s enough to keep me interested. The two of them as police officers, and their relationship, feels authentic. Peña is always reliable – he’s great in World Trade Center – and Gyllenhaal looks to have transformed himself into a believable member of the LAPD. This thing is packed with intense action and brutal violence – the poor officer who explicitly says to make sure no assholes kill them ends up with a knife in his eye! – but it’s the few quieter moments between the two leads that I’m more interested in. I hope that, as opposed to action and camera tricks, is what David Ayer is more interested in as well.