End of Watch, which I might add, is not a very memorable title, is about two cops, named Brian Taylor and his friend Zavala, two L.A.P.D. officers who end up in the middle of quite possibly the shadiest drug cartel in the city, but very slowly they end up doing so. It starts with an arrest and a found-footage sort of car chase...come to think of it, this is in most regards, a found footage movie even though that's debatable; I'll explain why later. Basically, one arrest leads to another, shady people are swimming and making it a shark tank, and we're not sure if there are any connections but from the way the drama increases, Taylor and Zavala are ending up more in the middle of it every day.
Anyone who knows me knows that I generally don't like 3 AM movies with people who tattoo their armpits and share tongues while upside down, but I can give it a pass if we care about these characters, or if it leads up to something. I have to say, the movie doesn't really make any memorable characters; I basically forgot Zavala's name a few times. There is a huge shootout with Mexicans and a group of blacks with no back story on why this is so, and after the second chase, I realized; this movie's highlights are when the chases go up. Because this is supposed to be a found-footage movie because Taylor, played by Jake Gylenhall, or their police camera, is supposed to be capturing everything. However, there are a few things that can't be filmed, such as when he and his girlfriend Janet, played by Anna Kendrick, are making out, it's filmed and the camera moves. And it goes off the rails in this during the ending. So really, there's not much of a point for the footage. And personally, I think Gylenhall looks way too old in this for an actress like Kendrick. Every time there's a chase, I loved how realistic they seemed, and even the interrogations they go through are cool. These two cops are honest cops, gentle and trusting ones, and they handle situations interestingly, especially one where a woman says her children are missing and there's a twist in that they had to be a little tough about to get to the bottom of.
There is also even a scene finding a ton of dead bodies; that scene was marvellous, it had the feel of a horror game, we knew by the smell there was a dead body, but we didn't know where, and a tailing where they have to debate whether to put their siren up and expose themselves. Basically, the action is terrific, and even sometimes amusing when the team find a gun that looks like it was right out of Romeo + Juliet. But every time they are not in the action, it's like director David Ayer always resorts to twirking and big parties that are so into the night that what I was looking at made me groggy. Also, the antagonists aren't really given much development at all. We don't even know their names, or care about them enough to. And duh, most of these people are Mexican. Who else could they be? Sarcasm. But you know why I'm talking about the movie like this? I really enjoyed the last twenty minutes of the movie. They were intense, chilling, heartbreaking and did what American Sniper should've done. There's also a twist on the big big blowout and I really didn't see it coming. I almost shed a tear about it. I then understood why a lot of critics loved it. Taylor ends up with a tremendous burden on him, and just looking at the eyes of the few interesting characters tell a million different human stories. And I was thinking of recommending this movie because of that. Then...ugh. It goes back on its big punch, thinking it's adding to the punch but actually spills it to the floor.
My consensus is End of Watch has nice action, but no memorable or likeable characters and not enough of a compelling or cohesive backstory on the antagonists nor enough dazzle outside the action scenes to make it really shine like it thinks it is.