The Streets

Michael Peņa and Jake Gyllenhaal in End of Watch (2012)

Brian and Mike have been cops and buddies for a long time and are extremely tight, having each others backs at work whilst Mike's wife and Brian's girlfriend are just as close. As street cops in South Central Los Angeles they are use to danger and thrive on it, bending the rules to get the job done as they don't back down from what ever situation they find themselves in. But when in the line of duty they bring down a couple of operations belonging to a Mexican cartel they find themselves with a hit on their heads.

With in seconds "End of Watch" is likely to have you in its grip with a brilliant car chase sequence filmed from a camera mounted to a police cars dashboard giving it a documentary style feel which is consistent through out the entire move. Watching this high speed pursuit down back alleys and in an out of cars till eventually it ends in a shoot out is exciting and makes you feel part of it. There are many more of these exciting moments through out the movie but they alone don't make the movie.

In between the action we also have documentary style footage of Mike and Brian at work, be that the banter which goes on in the locker room between cops or actually in a dangerous situation. We get to see this entertaining mix of what feels like a fly on the wall documentary combined with characters which are just a little bit larger than life. When they enter one house and physically fight the guy they want to arrest it feels to over the top to be based on reality but not so forced that it doesn't have a purpose when it comes to establishing these two characters.

All of the above builds to Mike and Brian ending up being a nuisance to the Cartel and with a hit on their heads which certainly keeps things interesting. But what also keeps this interesting is the combination of Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Peņa who are so natural around each other you would believe they are old buddies whilst also having that cop chemistry of buddies willing to go that bit extra for their job even if it means they are putting themselves in danger to do so.

What this all boils down to is that "End of Watch" is a surprisingly entertaining cop drama with not an original but well executed documentary styling and top notch performances from Gyllenhaal and Michael Peņa.

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