Yeah, End of Watch is a bromance first and foremost, and Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Pena have more than enough chemistry to make it work. But perhaps more importantly, the director knows enough to really let it carry the movie. I love how much of it was the audience basically hanging out with these two guys. Like Training Day, but without the rookie/veteran and good/evil set-up.
I also liked the dopey videogame approach End of Watch takes to its action scenes. With the first-person shooter cam and the hood cam, the shootouts and car chases obviously recalled videogames. By playing with the found footage conceit, the videogame perspective felt appropriate and not shoehorned in, like it did in Act of Valor.
As a procedural, though, it’s really facile. About on par with Hurt Locker, in fact. I don’t have any problem with that, but I’m surprised that Marcus calls it technically sound, given how contrived so many of the set pieces were. The way the cops run into burning buildings, not waiting for backup, taking off badges for impromptu pugilism with belligerent suspects, and so forth. And, yeah, the whole plot arc with the cartel and some sort of paramilitary federal squad operating in Los Angeles was pretty silly, and clearly a device to build to a Butch Cassidy finale.
I did love a lot of the sharply observed details, like their sunglasses management, how Gyllenhaal would modulate his voice when using the radio, the station scenes, how they were treated by the detectives, the cop banter, how Cody Horn wore her hair, etc. Maybe that’s the stuff you mean, Marcus. The movie clearly had an insider’s appreciation for cop culture, and that must be gratifying to see. It made me wonder how well Colors holds up. I seem to recall that was a pretty grounded, character driven police procedural. Has anyone seen that lately?
Overall, I really enjoyed this. Are any of the recent cop shows on TV this good? Southland, maybe?