The unmistakably raw, atmospheric genre of the cop drama has always been one of my favourites. From hard hitting features though to awesome TV series, when you see a great one there’s no mistaking the quality, attitude and, when it’s done differently, true originality.
End of Watch from director David Ayer marks one of the best genre entries in recent years and unsurprisingly it does all of the above; it’s raw, atmospheric, there’s quality, attitude and it’s original in the delivery. The whole film is shot in a documentary style following the day-to-day work of two young police officers (and best friends) in LA and what happens when they become tangled with local gangs and criminals. I was particularly impressed by the vision and scope of the film and how far it ventured out into being something totally different from what we’ve seen before. It wasn’t sensationalised but it wasn’t overly ‘gritty’, it just felt real, almost fly-on-the-wall. Great perfromances really boosted this too, with particularly strong work from leads, Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Peña. As with all great cop dramas, it never once shied away from it’s unflinching, gutsy calling. If you like your movies raw and with a lot of heart, End of Watch stands as one of the best in a long time.
Though it’s difficult not to draw comparisons, I’m pleased to say it does possess a nice dose of movies like Training Day, Narc and my all-time favourite TV series, The Shield. But don’t be mistaken; it stands firmly on it’s own two feet and with the Blu-ray and DVD release coming soon, if you missed it first time around it’s certainly one to seek out.
End of Watch is released on Blu-ray and DVD on 18 March 2013 – check it out!