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End of Watch Post-Release
#1

Unless my search function is defective, or I'm just going blind, couldn't see another thread for this one...

I don't think I've been that caught up in the moment in a film for a while. Heart was pounding, felt like I couldn't look away from the screen for more than a moment. Incredibly natural chemistry between all the cast and particularly the lead couple (Officers Mike and Brian), great natural humour, loved the musical choices. Just such an involving film experience for me, and one of the best I've had all year. I went in essentially completely blind, knew nothing more than that Jake Gyllenhaal was in a cop movie. So very impressed. And I hate shaky-cam!

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#2

I enjoyed this a lot more than I was expecting to. Gyllenhaal and Pena are great and yeah, they have a ton of chemistry - my favourite parts of the film were just them in the car, bantering away. I was surprised how funny it was, and how natural the humour felt too.  Some really nicely shot action too, and I thought it did well to not get too saccharine with the 'fallen hero' stuff.

It's not perfect: It was a shame seeing the bitter cop exit so abruptly, as his story seemed to be heading in a Wire-esque 'Institutions fail you' direction which seems to get dropped as soon as the cartel stuff kicks in. It's a shame, as the cartel aspect itself felt a little out of place. It felt like the gangbangers were being set up to come into conflict with the cops anyway, and I couldn't help but feel that there could've been a way to create that conflict more organically without bringing in this remote Big Evil. It felt more like the kind of large plot contrivance you'd get in a Lethal Weapon movie, than the 'gritty everyday cops on the beat' movie this sets out to be. You could still have them come across the smuggled immigrants and have the gangbangers involved, giving them a reason to be pissed off, instead of this massive cartel suddenly seeming to put all its focus on a couple of average beat cops. The film does a lot of work setting up how dangerous these guys' everyday work is on a local level, and I would've preferred they kept this consistent.

There's also a bit of that digetic/non-digetic fluffery you get with video-shot films where several characters are running around with cameras, but that's a 'mileage may vary' kind of thing. personally, it isn't too big a deal for em even if it is really obvious in spots.

All in all though, I enjoyed it. The film rests squarely on Gyllenhaal and Pena, but they make it work.

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#3

My question: in the sex scene - who was holding the camera!?!?!

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#4

It's established almost immediately that this is very very loosely a found footage flick.  The cameras are there sometimes but they don't slave to the formula.

I wasn't personally a fan of the ending.  Without getting too spoilery, it felt very Ladder 47.

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#5
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ianthe View Post

My question: in the sex scene - who was holding the camera!?!?!

Hey, partners have each other's backs no matter WHAT.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Freeman View Post

It's established almost immediately that this is very very loosely a found footage flick.  The cameras are there sometimes but they don't slave to the formula.

I wasn't personally a fan of the ending.  Without getting too spoilery, it felt very Ladder 47.

It did get a bit like that at the end. I though it still worked, again thanks to the good work the leads put into building their relationship. The film seemed to hint at a more cynical take on the cops' lot, but dropped it about two-thirds in and from that point got progressively more 'bullets n' bro-hugs'. That cynical burn-out cop seemed to be dropping some pretty heavy hints that they would learn what made him so jaded and the film seemed to forget it. I know zilch about the film's production so am going into pure speculation here, but I wouldn't be surprised if that guy had a lot of stuff on the cutting room floor.

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#6

I didn't enjoy this movie AT ALL.

However, it did hilariously feature the worst criminals EVER. Not only were they happy to record all of their crimes, but they couldn't hit two cops with AK47s even when they had the element of surprise! Even at close range, with fully loaded automatics, they still managed to leave one of the cops alive with his only injury requiring him to use crutches!!! Mr Big Evil? More like Mr Big Fail.

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#7

Yeah, I was confused even as to how the Mexicans missed them in the apartment shoot out. Officer Taylor walked out of that one with a cut hand. And I don't know HOW the fuck Taylor would've survived the alley shooting either. I mean, I guess, I they WERE aiming at Officer Zavala but still...

The LAPD showing up just after that and blowing away the Mexicans was funny though.

There was a lot of good in this that I enjoyed. At times though it seemed liked they just kept wanting to "up the ante" with reveals and what would be behind the door! Everything the officers ran into just kept getting worse.

Babies taped up in a closet -> house on fire, rescue kids -> house of kidnapped mexicans -> officer stabbed in the eye, other getting her face turned into a blood smoothy -> house full of dead, cut up bodies

It was just a "LOOK AT WHAT THEY DEAL WITH OMG IT'S BAD AND AWFUL AND THEY'RE AMAZING" kind of a thing.

Regardless though the relationship between Taylor and Zavala was great. The chemistry between Gyllenhall and Pena was fantastic.

And this movie featured Anna Kendrick AND the poor mans Anna Kendrick, Cody Horn!

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#8

I liked this movie a lot, but I'm not entirely sure what the point was.  Cops have it rough?  I guess?

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#9

The point is that despite being hot headed and over stepping their boundaries and pissing off Mexican drug cartels who put a contract out to brutally kill you... the LAPD ARE AWESOME, BRAH!!

When I think about that apartment shootout, I wonder why the Mexicans just didn't rear end the cop car and when the cops got out of their car, they could have a Mexican play dumb and then ambush the cops and shoot them in the heads. Or just pull up beside them at a red light and blow them away. I also like that police back up appeared VERY QUICKLY at all times through out the movie. However, when they needed it the most, it took fucking forever.

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#10

Glad this thread popped up, I need to queue this one - it looked, to me, like SouthLAnd:The Motion Picture - which may not be a bad thing, because SL is one of the best shows on tv right now.

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#11

Re: criminals filming their drive-bys. This sort of shit actually happens-- thugs will beat the snot out of a cop, film it, and put it on Youtube. You can find this stuff with simple "cop beatdown" searches, but clips like that get taken down real fast, and I'm also not aware that actual killings make their way to the Internet in this fashion. So, a stretch, but not a complete fabrication either.

That said, I thought this kind of stank. Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Pena are amazing together, and I honestly hated that the latter died at the end while the former lived because I could sit and watch them busting criminals forever (apart from the fact that it's a predictable conclusion for the white guy to live while his minority partner dies horribly). The problem comes down to style. Some people will love the shaky-cam/found footage thing, some people will hate it. Me, I fucking hated it, since it made all of the significant action nigh incoherent and frankly I have no patience for that sort of chaos.

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#12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chavez View Post

Glad this thread popped up, I need to queue this one - it looked, to me, like SouthLAnd:The Motion Picture - which may not be a bad thing, because SL is one of the best shows on tv right now.

I was thinking this was a bad episode of The Shield but Southland is more apt given they are patrolmen.

I just couldn't get over the fact that the Mexican cartel would be stupid enough to target 2 patrol cops who lucked into 2 big busts.  Are we to expect that when these 2 cops are dead that nobody in the LAPD will be investigating what they are into?  There is no logical reason the cartel would taget these 2 dipshits.

The Shield did this so much better in Season 2 with Armadillo and episodes like Greenlit and Carte Blanche.

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#13

I didn't question the cartel putting a contract out on them. The drug war in Mexcio costs the lives of thousands of people every year. Citizens, police, government employees, military etc. In a place like LA, it wouldn't surprise me if cops are killed by gang members often. Or targeted at times. It sends a message to the LAPD to back off. That explains why that one undercover DEA agent (I assume they were DEA or ICE, they never said) lost his shit on the officers. He also warned them that they were noticed now by the cartel.

I assume the drug King Pin guy didn't expect the people he hired to be idiots with how they went about doing it. A simple execution would've been all that was needed. Not lighting up the entire neighbourhood.

Regardless if it was a coincidence that the officers stopped at those two homes and busted that one gang banger, the cartel doesn't see it that way. The less sniffing around the better. They should've at least maybe made it a point of having the Mexicans say to make it look like the black gang members did it or something.

It just doesn't seem unbelievable to me at least that a hit would be ordered. A quiet hit. Not a full out apartment, neighbourhood style hit.

Why not shoot them when they were getting gas for the cruiser? Roll up, get out quick, gun them down, and take off. Burn the vehicle. OR just find out where they live and gun them down on a day off.

I'm not a Mexican drug gang member and I've had WAY better ideas as to how to take these cops out then these guys did in the movie.

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#14

Except this isn't Mexico and killing cops only intensifies the spotlight on you here.  I would expect them to do a little research, contact whomever they may be bribing in LA and find out about these guys.  Putting a hit out on beat cops with gangmembers would put the LAPD up in that gangs ass stopping even more business.

TV has done this storyline better.  It just seems they skipped a few steps to go straight to murder.

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#15
AI see what you're saying. There was really no other way to end the movie. So they had to do something and that was convenient. I guess what they could have done is just had those gang bangers go after them for some other reason. Maybe the lead gang banger was a hot headed and ordered a hit and made his people follow through. You could have them trying to say its a bad idea but since he's the leader they follow him.
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#16

I just don''t think they earned the ending.

If they wanted to end it with  shootout like that, maybe have the warning(from DEA) come to Jake's character only and he ignores it to go on one more mission to investigate something.  When they do they walk into a gun deal or something and he has to live with knowing he got his partner killed.

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#17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anyawatchin Angel View Post

I just don''t think they earned the ending.

If they wanted to end it with  shootout like that, maybe have the warning(from DEA) come to Jake's character only and he ignores it to go on one more mission to investigate something.  When they do they walk into a gun deal or something and he has to live with knowing he got his partner killed.

I agree. Thought this was just ok. Surprised at all the good reviews and box office. Harsh Times is still a classic though

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#18
ASome good chemistry, Anna Kendric is very cute, but feels like a big step back from Harsh Times (a modern cult classic?) and even Street Kings. I don't understand how Ebert could give this four stars.
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#19
A[quote name="Anyawatchin Angel" url="/community/t/145630/end-of-watch-post-release#post_3434531"]I just don''t think they earned the ending.

If they wanted to end it with  shootout like that, maybe have the warning(from DEA) come to Jake's character only and he ignores it to go on one more mission to investigate something.  When they do they walk into a gun deal or something and he has to live with knowing he got his partner killed.
[/quote]

They were ICE, not DEA.
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#20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Harford View Post

Some good chemistry, Anna Kendric is very cute, but feels like a big step back from Harsh Times (a modern cult classic?) and even Street Kings. I don't understand how Ebert could give this four stars.


Because, God rest his soul, Ebert never had good taste.

I thought this was a fine little film,  but would've been a much better movie without the found footage conventions.

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#21
AI think it would have been better as a true found footage movie.
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#22

The two dumbest cops in LA vs. the dumbest Gang in LA. Too bad it's not a comedy. Bleh.

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#23

I enjoyed this movie a lot, and I echo similar sentiments of others.  Great chemistry, great music, and just an overall good cop movie in my opinion.

I don't think the movie would have been nearly as good if Gyllenhaal and Pena didn't have such amazing chemistry.

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#24
AI'd quite happily watch a film with them just tooling around doing mundane police work.
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#25
Quote:
Originally Posted by trench View Post

I'd quite happily watch a film with them just tooling around doing mundane police work.

Well you sure got your wish, except for when they shot or beat down the locals. Yay LAPD!

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#26
AThought this was pretty great and did two things extremely well. One is create a palpable sense of danger at almost every turn - the tension is wound up in such a way I was always on edge waiting for some kind of horror-style SHOCK moment (which to their credit they never fell back on).

The other is give a sense of genuine camaraderie, a quality I'm always an easy mark for when it's done right. I really didn't want anything bad to happen to these characters, even though it seemed inevitable from the start.

Nice job Ayers, Gyllenhaal, Pena!
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#27

I could be biaised against Ayer (STREET KINGS felt like a cheap ellroy/THE SHIELD knock off with an awfully miscast Keanu Reeves and I enjoy SABOTAGE for bad reasons only; Still curious about FURY and SUICIDE SQUAD though) but END OF WATCH didn't do much for me. I agree about the sense of camaraderie, but I couln't help but think 'that's it?' when the movie ended. TRIPLE 9 is definitely flawed but I rate it several notches above WATCH and its useless found footage format. The sense of place was pretty good, as often with Ayer, but a drama like TANGERINE did it better, Ayer is just not as radical as he seems to think he is. The movies remains perfectly decent, but I was underwhelmed.

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#28
AThe 'End of Watch' episode of Bosch was much better than this.

Ayer's films are painfully melodramatic. That serves him well in Sabotage, a morass of scumbags, but here, it just comes off painful. As Anya notes above, the idea that the cartel would put a hit on a couple of uniformed cops is ridiculous. Third-rate Shawn Ryan stuff
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