End of Watch
Jake Gyllenhaal in tedious cop thriller Discuss this article
Training Day screenwriter David Ayer’s Los Angeles-set police thriller begins with a smug fairy-tale invocation (‘Once upon a time in South Central…’), then plunges us headlong into the stout-hearted, profanity-laden world of California patrol officers Brian Taylor (Jake Gyllenhaal) and Mike Zavala (Michael Peña). Taylor is taking a filmmaking class, hence all the soulful direct addresses about a flatfoot’s forlorn life. But our hero isn’t the only one with a camera: there are some warring gangsters who also like recording their exploits – or at least their f-bomb-laced tirades – and they don’t take it too kindly when the heat crosses them.
End of Watch’s best moments are those between Gyllenhaal and Peña as they drive the beat. The first-person aesthetic, meanwhile, quickly becomes tiresome, and it almost becomes comical to count the number of ‘who’s holding the camera now?’ reverse shots that the filmmaker haphazardly inserts to propel the story forward. Such visual ineptitude, like much else in this tediously arrogant enterprise, is downright criminal.
Time Out Bahrain,