March 14, 2013

End of Watch (2012)

Jake Gyllenhaal, Michael Peña, Anna Kendrick, America Ferrera

There aren't a lot of new ideas out there circulating in the cop/crime genre - drugs, money, and guns can sum up pretty much every single movie involving cops. Throw in the occasional dirty cop or gang violence and presto! You have an action movie. So I commend this movie on coming up with the concept of shooting the entire movie documentary-style. But I hate - let me repeat, HATE - the bullsh*t Blair Witch camerawork in which almost the entire movie is filmed. It's shaky and you spend much more time looking up Jake Gyllenhaal's nose than you would ever want.

Speaking of Jake Gyllenhaal, I've never understood why women drooled over him. He's from the same gene pool as sad, saggy-faced Maggie Gyllenhaal. I mean, he's not terrible looking, but a shaved head does not suit him. At all. Did he learn nothing from Jarhead? Just labeling his character a military guy doesn't automatically make him more attractive. Especially if they don't even show him in the uniform...

And speaking of unattractive people... this chick from Magic Mike is in this movie. It's only worth mentioning because I'm happy to see her find a role that fits her (aka not a romantic interest). Let's hope this doesn't signal a rise in movie appearances from her.

The rest of the movie, not taken up by uncomfortably close-ups of Jake Gyllenhaal, trying to mentally figure out why America Ferrera looks so familiar (you probably watched Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants and are too embarrassed to admit it), and completely unwatchable parts because you feel like you are experiencing life as a Parkinson's patient, is like an exercise in film editing. The interactions between the cops and the people of LA are mildly entertaining, but reads more like an extended episode of TLC's Police Women of Dallas. In fact, it takes a full 50 minutes for the main plot line of the movie to even really get started.

My favorite part of the movie was the 20 minutes near the end when it turned into an actual movie. And by actual movie, I mean a Hollywood-style action movie with real camera work and something that resembled a script. But that's the problem - just when I was starting to feel some respect for the attempt at a documentary-style movie, it turned into a regular Hollywood movie (which of course, makes the documentary filming portion look like a crappy high school project). It felt like the movie copped out by adding in this small section - it should have just stuck with the camera work that only gave bad angles to make it feel more authentic instead of selling out to make the ending actually watchable.

Final word: The best part of this movie was its soundtrack.

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