Thursday, January 10, 2013

End of Watch

Do you like COPS? Bad boys, bad boys, what’cha gonna do when they come for you? etc. Well imagine if COPS was able to broadcast what the LAPD have to put up with every day. Under constant death threats from Colombian drug lords, getting beaten to a pulp until you’re unrecognisable, getting stabbed in the eye with a knife, getting shot at by gangs wielding military-grade weapons. Yeah then it wouldn’t be really COPS anymore would it? But it would be the new movie from David Ayer who wrote Training Day but directed Street Kings.

Ayer brought Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Pena together, sent them off to ride around with real LAPD cops for a few months and got them to present to us two distinctive police officers who know that this is a dirty job that someone has to do and it may as well be them. They look feel and talk like they may not be the #1 cops in the world but when the shit hits the fan you understand that to each other – they are - and as partners on the street that’s what you need most.

Ayer creatively used a multitude of camera sources to capture the story he wanted to show, it was part reality-show amateur hour, part steady-cam Panavision. It was a little strange going from one view to the other but I wasn’t on the level of the vomit-inducing Chronicle and the fact that portable cameras now can stream/record HD, the days of Blair Witch nonsense are long gone.

Ayer is the man who wrote the most historically inaccurate movie of all time, U-571. Following worldwide criticism for his historical distortion vowed he would never do it again. While this movie is fictional, I think we can say he's come full circle. It's too real. It’s difficult to actually review this as I do other forms of entertainment as it wasn’t so much entertaining as it seemed like the stark reality of what you read about in the news every day was unfolding before you. You were only now seeing what was happening between the lines of the those reports and it's far from pretty.

Colonel Creedon Rating: ****

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