END OF WATCH (VVS, 2012) D: David Ayer, w/ Jake Gyllenhaal, Michael Peña. Rating: NNN; Blu-ray package: NNN Rating: NNN
Writer/director David Ayer (Training Day) applies a mix of found-footage techniques and more conventional shooting to bring a strong sense of realistic chaos and danger to End Of Watch. It looks at the friendship between two patrol-car cops working the most dangerous neighbourhood in Los Angeles.
Drug busts, drive-by shootings, routine rousts and keeping an eye on the local gangbangers make up the daily routine for Brian Taylor (Jake Gyllenhaal) and Mike Zavala (Michael Peña). Anything can turn violent at any time. The pair are young, energetic and devoted to the job. In the car, they joke or talk about personal matters. Brian is single and getting serious about someone. Mike is a happily married expectant father.
The plot - a local gang is out to get them - is plausible and consistent with the focus on the two leads, whom Gyllenhaal and Peña play with fully committed and believable naturalism.
On his generally informative commentary, Ayer takes pains to point out how much of the movie is taken from life. You'll find a little making-of information in the five two-minute promo spots, but not much.
EXTRAS: Commentary, alternate ending, promotional spots. English, French audio and subtitles.