End of Watch (BLU-RAY)

End Of Watch

On Blu-Ray: 
Tuesday, January 22, 2013
Running Time: 
109 minutes
Bonus Features

Behind the Scenes, Deleted Scenes, Commentary

Life on the streets is tough but when a law is broken officers Brian Taylor (played by Jake Gyllenhaal) and Miguel Zavala (played Michael Pena) will be there to take you down. Each day these two friends must deal with some of the most horrific scenes that life can throw at them as they work their beat but a unexpected drug busts puts their lives in danger.

When I saw the trailer for End of Watch I remember thinking and telling my friends that I wanted to see it. From the trailer it looked like it was going to be this intense movie where 2 cops get caught up in a drug bust that has the drug dealers and gangsters coming after them. That trailer made it seem like End of Watch was going to involve a lot of gunfights and a big war between 2 cops and gangsters. Instead what this movie turned out to be is almost a lost documentary about life on the job for 2 LA police officers. Which would have been fine if there weren’t so many different cameras's being used. One minute we are seeing the movie through the lens of a handheld camcorder of Brian Taylor then it switches to a lapel camera, then back to the camcorder, dash cam, and some video from the gangsters, and even some night video is used. All this different footage being shown was too much for the flow of the movie. If it had been done in only 3 formats, the camcorder for when Brian Taylor and Miguel Zavala where alone with light banter going on between friends, switch to the lapel cameras when the action would start so we get a point of view perspective, and just to have some extra reality use the dash cam. They could even have spliced together other officers dash cams and lapel cameras to give a different view at time to show Taylor and Zavala from someone else view.

Still, End of Watch was a compelling movie that had my attention right at the opening sequence. Jake Gyllenhaal's speech about how he will fight, shoot, chase, and put anyone in jail for breaking the law regardless of how they beg or plead was fantastic. The best parts of the speech is the start of it with him saying "I am the police" and then with the end of it when he says, "We are the police", it's gripping and with it being said while a chase scene happens made it even more potent. Everything that will happen in this movie is told in that opening speech as well as setting the mood for the whole movie. Where I was expecting a movie that was going to be filled with lots of gun fights and action, End of Watch is actually a character movie about the relationship that Brian Taylor and Miguel Zavala have with each other. It's in these characters that I got invested in rather than the action that I first expected to see. Basically End of Watch is a friendship movie that is made for guys with the intensity of some of the things these cops go through while on the job. The reason why I was more interested in the characters and what they where to each other and how they did their job is attributed to the performance of Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Pena. Talk about being able to work well together, these two make it feel like they are the best of friends as well as being real cops on the job.

I really enjoyed how the movie showed what the cops where doing rather than depend on straight out action as a plot. Sure there's moments in the movie that could be cut out and was kind of useless for the plot development but the story moves along at a steady pace where it don't become boring. From the start to the end I was a little tense because I was waiting for that shoe to drop when something bad is going to happen to these characters. It was a good experience and I liked how I was made to not expect the next scene. What I didn't like though was the scenes that was put in but never developed. Why a scene showing the drug cartel talking about having Taylor and Zavala killed was put in but then nothing was done when this information came to light is not something I understand. Why have a scene like that and not go further with it? I would think that if 2 cops lives where in mortal danger then they or their bosses would have been warned. There's also the supporting characters, who some are typical for a cop movie, especially the rookie that is being picked on but ends up in a bad situation, they're not used to their full extent. I kept waiting for something to happen between Taylor and Zavala and Van Hauser (played by David Harbour) but nothing does. Sure they get into little quips with each other but nothing more happens when there felt like there was going to be this huge blow out. Overall though, I liked how this movie turned out and though I think it should have ended like shown in the deleted scenes it was a ending that works.

One thing I noticed about this Blu Ray is how the picture quality kept changing. This is due to the use of the different cameras, or the illusion of different cameras. Some cameras had a brighter lighting to them while some were dark and grainy. It's not bad, there's not much noise in the picture, but the switching of styles is shown. Which I'm guessing it's made to look that way so we know when the different camera is being used. It's not a bad looking movie, the colors are bright, at times a little too bright, and the fine detail shows up nicely. Even the audio levels where at a sold setting where I didn't have to mess with them when the shootouts did happen. Most impressive were the deleted scenes, which were a lot more than I was expecting.


Lee Roberts
Review by Lee Roberts
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