Good, Bad & Ugly Review: End of Watch

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 85% (Critics) / 87% (Audience)
Directed By: David Ayer
Written By: David Ayer
Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal, Michael Peña, Anna Kendrick
Studio: Open Road Films

Synopsis:From the writer of Training Day, End of Watch is a riveting action thriller that puts audiences at the center of the chase like never before. Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Peña star as young LA police officers who discover a secret that makes them the target of the country’s most dangerous drug cartel. (Source)

The Good:
The script and the performances by Peña and Gyllenhaal are top notch. The atmosphere is gritty and about as close to being part of a ride along with real cops that one can get from the comfort of their couch in their living room. And Peña and Gyllenhaal immediately click as partners/best friends and it is their chemistry that drives the majority of the film.

The Bad:
While the documentary style that is used does not distract as much as it does in some other films, I am still not quite sure this movie needed that conceit. I think things would have been just as good and watchable if shot in a more classic style.

The Ugly
The ending of this movie is a colossal cop-out. It felt like a proper, truly fitting ending was shot and then test audiences balked at it so the studio re-shot the ending. Now I am not saying this is what happened but that is exactly how it felt to me as a viewer.

Final Verdict: A wonderfully gritty movie that coasts along on the easy camaraderie of its male leads and the strong script from David Ayer but falters in the final moments by not having the bravery to follow through on what would have been the most logical ending.

Grade: B

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