Frat Boy At the Movies: End of Watchon September 28, 2012 at 12:01 am
If you had to list every event that happens in a generic cop movie, End of Watch would probably hit 9 out of 10 of those. But despite strong performances by leads Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Peña, there isn’t anything in End of Watch you catch catch on two random episodes of Law and Order or Southland or any one of a number cop dramas on TV.
The movie is marketed as two cops who come across something the Cartel needs so badly, they’re marked for death. But really, the plot is more like two cops just happen to bust one too many Cartel members. This is a bit of a spoiler, but here’s what really bothers me about the plot: The two cops shake down a gang member, then stake out his place and that leads to an encounter with Cartel members. But later, that same gang member is recruited to kill the two cops, the implication being that they will move up in the Cartel if they complete the hit. But if that’s the case, and these gang members are still Cartel-wannabes, why would the Cartel member that gets caught be there? In the world of organized crime, this doesn’t work.
Also, the crimes the cops bust up get increasingly dramatic, but there’s no one thing that really sets off the Cartel and that’s the implication in the trailer. To me, that would’ve been far more interesting. After a couple of events, you realize the movie is just going for shock value. And while the relationship between the two cops is good, the actual cop stuff is a little over the top. Anna Kendrick plays Gyllenhaal’s love interest, but this isn’t really central to the plot.
Overall, I would say this is the opposite of Training Day. Training Day was a movie that drove forward with a relentless pace and had a specific goal. End of Watch just kind of splatters cop movie all over the place with nothing really new to add. This is a rental at best. I give End of Watch a 4 out of 10 keggers.