The first film I saw at the Toronto International Film Fesitval this year was End of Watch, which actually opens today.
For me, this was a really good film if a difficult one. It becomes clear, not that far in, that there’s no chance this movie is going to end well… and I kept thinking, D’uh, you dummy, of course it’s not going to end well, it’s called END of Watch.
The performances were really strong and ultimately it’s a story about two men in a working relationship who really care about each other and about their jobs. A bromance.
Sadly, it’s also about how sometimes it doesn’t pay to do the right thing. It was kind of depressing to see this demonstrated so clearly–why some police officers would choose to look the other way at times. Almost like the worse the criminals the more the police have to lose by pursuing them.
But it’s also about the real (friendship) love between two men and a glance into the lives of police officers in one of the most dangerous parts of LA.
I was at the second screening for this film, so the actors weren’t there but the director was and he did a brief Q&A.
Interesting things learned:
– that the part of LA these police work in is as dangerous as was depicted in the film. Police officers there see more action in a typical day than most others do in their entire careers
– an AK 47 is a highly inaccurate gun. I can’t remember the exact stats the director gave on their accuracy, but basically it made sense of all the scenes I’ve seen in movies where the hero is being fired upon by multiple automatic weapons, yet manages not to get hit…
– Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Peña did not get along well (according to the director). This made me more impressed with their acting performances.
If you’re in the mood for a tension filled not so happy film, check this one out.