Cop film brings realism to the silver screen
Published: Monday, September 24, 2012
Updated: Monday, September 24, 2012 23:09
When I first heard of “End of Watch,” I assumed it was going to be another one of those cheap “found footage”- style films. I was so wrong. “End of Watch” is arguably the best “found footage” film and the best cop film ever made. If you’ve never seen a “found footage” film, it’s basically where the audience sees everything through the characters filming with a video camera. Most of them are just cheap horror films attempting to make money by passing off the events as a true story. This is the first film to use this style for something else. It’s used to make us believe the action is all real, but that’s because while the footage is fake, it is real in the sense that this is the story of every police officer out there risking their life fighting crime. It could be any of them rather than Jake Gylenhaal.
The film is extremely well directed. Coincidentally, director David Ayer’s last film was “Street Kings,” another story of LAPD cops. However, in that film we see how deep the corruption really goes in that department, and there isn’t a single good cop. There are just layers of how bad or corrupt they are. “End of Watch” gives us the complete opposite message by showing us nothing but heroic men and women risking their lives and upholding justice. The film follows a year in the life of two LAPD officers. We see through their eyes all the violence and disturbing things they witness in their day-to-day lives, as well as the brotherly relationship between these two partners willing to die for each other. The two cops, Jake Gylenhaal and Michael Peña, make this movie. The chemistry between the two is really funny. I was constantly laughing at Gylenhaal and Peña just goofing around with each other. The two work so well together, you almost believe they’ve been friends for years.
This probably won’t get a single Oscar nomination, but the directing, acting and just the overall film really deserve some recognition. “End of Watch” manages to do what every great movie does. It makes you forget that you’re in a theater or on your couch, and it makes you laugh, cry and fear for the lives of characters who never existed and even when it’s over, keeps that feeling in you. This is one of the best films of the year, hands down.