End of Watch features the unsubtly played themes of urban vice and police brotherhood, which fail to strike much of a chord due to a lack of plot and some boring, almost comically written bad guys. In an effort to make the film look authentic and gritty, the film features a found footage aspect which just seems uninspired and makes the whole film look awful. Brian Taylor (Jake Gyllenhaal) and Mike Zavala (Michael Peña) are a pair of average cops on duty, patrolling the dangerous, shady streets of LA. Not only does it make no sense that these officers would get away with filming their duty for a supposed ‘film project’ but so many shots make no sense as to how the shot could have been taken from a hidden camera which just drags you out of the supposed reality. It’s really annoying and distracting and adds nothing to the film – either do it properly or don’t do it at all. The lack of plot is a source of endless frustration and the film meanders towards its inevitable conclusion, with the only saving grace in the form of a fairly convincing relationship between the two cops. Both actors provide convincing performances but it’s just a shame there’s so little around them of any interest.
Review by David Rank
End of Watch is out on 23rd November in the UK. Certificate 15 (UK). Running time 109 mins.
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