On the rainiest of Wednesday nights, the DCM faithful padded over a sodden red carpet into a packed-out UK premiere of End of Watch – the new cop thriller by the writer of Training Day, David Ayer. The influences really show too – the action is stark and brutal, with sombre down moments and tension hitting fever pitch at the grand finale.
This is no mindless shooter mind you, and underneath the gritty handheld realism and harrowing subject matter this is a buddy cop movie with a sincere heart. The magnetic on-screen chemistry of Jake Gyllenhall and Michael Pena (present on the night to welcome the crowd) would be enough to carry the audience through from start to finish, displaying a friendship that is layered and believable. They even make mention in the script that they are beyond friends – they are brothers.
End of Watch will open your eyes to the dangers the LAPD face on a daily basis and what it means to wear the badge. In fact, Gyllenhall is said to have witnessed a genuine murder while he was researching for the film, riding with LA beat cops in the back of a patrol vehicle. I really enjoyed the set-up, the mood and the delivery of this movie. It feels spontaneous, the dialogue is both witty and personal, and the main characters deliver really solid performances. Jake is brilliant in this, and Pena bumbles like a Mexican Mark Ruffalo! Tell your friends about this one and you’ll look like a total badass when they come back to you telling you they loved it. An unlikely gem in 2012s crown.
End of Watch releases 23 November 2012.