End of Watch
Available from January 22 until May 12, 2013 on Rogers On Demand (Channel 100) and online at RogersAnyplaceTV.com.
End of Watch is a brutal profanity-laden police drama that is never less than compelling.
Eschewing anything resembling a plot, it takes a day-in-the-life approach to the story of two cops (Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Peña) as they patrol the mean streets of South Central LA. It’s a thankless, occasionally terrifying but mostly boring job that has them breaking up the monotony between emergency calls, breaking up fist-fights and run-ins with drug dealers with raunchy patrol-car comedy.
Gyllenhaal plays a prankster while Peña is a more serious-minded family man, and their chemistry is palpable, as is the grim and gritty atmosphere. Writer-director David Ayers makes the risky decision to shoot the movie from the first-person (à la Paranormal Activity) and while it could have made for a reality-TV gimmick (think Cops), it pays off beautifully, as we’re often left as confused as the characters wondering what menace awaits around the next corner.
• Writer/director David Ayer has been called the poet laureate of the LAPD, having previously made Training Day, SWAT, Dark Blue and Harsh Times. He is writing a remake of the classic Sam Peckinpah western The Wild Bunch, set in modern-day Mexico.
• To prepare for their roles, Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Peña went on several ride-alongs with LAPD officers. On his first ride-along, Gyllenhaal witnessed a murder.
• The F-word is used 326 times in the movie, making it sixth on the all-time profanity list.