The Movie: 9/10
Fear, anxiety, stress, uncertainty, more fear, power, powerlessness, these are all feelings I had jabbing the back of my mind during this movie. End of Watch takes us on a bit of a ride along with two police officers in LA. Their daily routine, some of their calls, the violence, the futility of it all. It’s not a straight up realistic telling of their lives. It’s not a dark view of the world of law enforcement officers, it just hints at the horrors of it all with a few lighter touches here and there to relieve the potential depressive effect.
I’m just saying that the life of a law enforcement officer in any city, town, village, state, federal military action is unlike our cushy lives of 9-5’s and leaving our jobs behind when we go home in the evening. Their jobs are noble and fucking hard. I get that vibe from this movie. I was nervous and tense almost every second, but then with the few times there was humor or at least a light moment to give my brain a break, it fit in just right. The balance of tough subject matter and making it a movie not meant to be a full on harsh is well executed.
The cast is excellent, with one exception. I don’t much care for the performance of the young woman who plays one of our leading men’s wives. She’s trying too hard to be natural, and the rest of the cast is just that, so naturally amazing and at ease with their characters that anyone not holding their own stands out.
Our leading men are amazing. That’s enough. They both are naturally strong, dramatic, even funny when needed. They work well together and bring this movie to such a high level of excellence it’s hard to find fault. There are no breaks in the story, no slips in dialog, nothing that keeps me from absolutely loving this movie. It’s not one that’s easy to say it’s enjoyable or entertaining. It’s simply impactful, powerful, a reminder that my life is more controlled by the safety provided by people through the decades who help keep the peace in this world, my little corner of it, than I am usually consciously aware of.
I don’t think I know any officers personally. I don’t have family in law enforcement, or even in active military. I do appreciate the valor and the sacrifices, their fear, their pain, the things they see that I would probably crumble because of.
End of Watch is worth a watch, even worth sharing with a fellow adult who needs a Hollywood born reminder of the state of the world outside our comfy, cozy, safe, living rooms.
- Deleted Scenes – Lots of deleted scenes that are mostly comprised of raw improvised footage. If you watch right to the end you get an alternate ending which I actually like better than the ending we get in the theatrical cut.
- Behind The Scenes Featurettes – A bunch of EPK style featurettes that make you feel like your are in the theater waiting for another movie to begin (inside look I am referring to you)
- Feature Commentary By Writer/Director David Ayer – A superb behind the scenes commentary by writer director David Ayer. Our two lead actors actually rode with real police officers 12 hours a day for a month to get ready for these roles.
- DVD & UV Digital Copy
Cover Art and Menus: 5/10
For such an awesome movie the cover art is underwhelming. I would not have this as a poster, but if you made a crazy awesome poster to match the quality of this movie I might reconsider. The menu is just navigation, as usual.
Audio & Video: 8/10
If you don’t already know End of watch is presented in a pseudo first person/documentary style using a variety of cameras and techniques. This means the picture quality is all over the place with everything I could mention about a bad transfer taking place. This however is all directors intent so this one is really hard to score, End Of Watch looks incredible in one shot then shadowy and interlaced in another. Just know that Universals presentation here is exactly as intended do not adjust your set.
The DTS-HD Master audio track really delivers, sure the officers are using small lapel cameras but the sound equipment they must have been carrying is of a way better standard than that. The South Central streets are full of gunshots and LOUD rap music which is all delivered with pin point clarity. On occasion a lot of people can be talking at once and some dialog is lost in the mix, I don’t see this as a major problem though as it only happens on a couple of occasions.
I say get it, rent it, buy it, whatever it takes to absorb this movie. It’s worth a few bucks, no doubt about it. If you find it for around $12 or so I say own it. If it’s more, well, decide if you can do without food for a day or so.
Overall Score 9/10