‘End of Watch’ brings realism to tired police procedural genre

by Cody Franklin

Courtesy Exclusive Media Group

When I first heard about “End of Watch,” I wasn’t very excited. “Oh look, another cop drama,” I said to myself. The trailers for the movie made it seem rather generic. LAPD shoots bad guys, bad guys shoot LAPD; it has been done a thousand times before, right? Wrong. It’s never been done quite like “End of Watch.”

One interesting change the movie brings to the genre is how it is shot almost entirely from the perspective

of “shaky-cams.” Officer Brian Taylor (Jake Gyllenhaal) films his adventures with his partner, Officer Mike Zavala (Michael Peña), for a film classic.

I’m usually one of the first to hate on this new trend in the movie industry to try and give everything a “gritty, realistic” feel through shaky cams, but this time it works. Taylor takes the cameras on patrols, to meetings, on dates and at home. The cartel and gangs are also recording with their own cameras as they fight back against the two cops who manage to stumble upon situations above their pay grades.

It gives a much deeper connection to the characters than I was expecting, which pays major dividends later in the movie.

The movie includes a little bit of most genres, which helps liven a somewhat dark movie. The film delivers some of the funniest lines I’ve heard in cinemas recently. I got a healthy dose of high-intensity action and gunplay. Fans of romance get a surprisingly well- developed romantic subplot that strengthens the story, a rarity for an “action” movie.

I highly recommend seeing “End of Watch.” If you’re looking for an action-packed cops and robbers movie you might be a little disappointed. If you’re looking for a by-the-books procedural cop drama, it might not be the movie for you. However, if you want a deep, gritty, realistic take on being a cop, you’ll definitely walk away from this film feeling like you just came to the end of one rough watch.