End of Watch
Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal, Michael Pena, Anna Kendrick
Directed by: David Ayer
Why watch: It’s a war movie in South Central Los Angeles.
The buzz: Two LAPD cops (Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Pena) pay a big price for seizing a cache of money and firearms belonging to a drug cartel.
The low-down: Submariner-turned-film-maker David Ayer has made a name for himself making gritty policiers — he wrote Training Day and Dark Blue, and directed Harsh Times and Street Kings. So when it came time to do another one, it should be a walk in the park, right? Nope, at least not initially. Ayer freaked out when leading men Gyllenhaal and Pena didn’t click. “The movie lives and dies on them being best friends,” he says. Thankfully, they slowly warmed up to each other after five months of preparation, which included going on patrol with real coppers three nights a week. By the end of the shoot, “Mike and I really believed we were partners,” Gyllenhaal quips. So what life lessons did they learn? Observes Pena: “A day in life of an active police officer is a horror movie.” For Gyllenhaal, however, the experience was far more disturbing. “The first ride-along I went on, someone was murdered — I saw it,” recalls Gyllenhaal. “It changed my life, this movie.” And if the explosive trailer is anything to go by, the movie, shot in documentary-style, promises to be life-altering for the audience as well.
Opens: Oct 18