“Buddy-Cop Movie With a Twist”

“Hotshots” looks at a movie!

End of Watch is a powerful, almost traditional buddy-cop movie, but the language is raw, the action is violent, and it has an ending with an unexpected twist to it.

Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Pena play officers Brian Taylor and Mike Zavala, who work in the Los Angeles Police Department as partners ane whose area that they patrol is the rough arena of South Central Los Angeles, which Taylor says has three major food groups: drugs, money, and guns.

When the movie opens, it is the first day back on the job for Taylor and Zavala after they were cleared by an investigation into a shooting they were involved in, and once they are out in their patrol car, Zavala says, “Dude, it’s good to be back, Man.”

Taylor has a recording device in his uniform for a class project he is working on, and so a lot of the footage we see is from the point of view of that device, which is called “found footage” these days, but don’t worry. The whole movie isn’t from that POV, but enough is so that at times the movie gets confusing.

So, we watch and listen to the good-natured banter between these two friends as they drive around the city between calls, we learn about their personal lives as they talk and even see some aspects of them at various points in the movie, and we witness many of the calls they go on and see just how rough and dangerous being a policeman in today’s Los Angeles can be, both for them and other police officers who are called in to help.

In addition to the commonplace calls that Taylor and Zavala make, the main story point is a turf war between two rival gangs, one composed of black people and the other composed of Latinos, who have connections with drug cartels operating out of Mexico and who are also involved with the trafficking of illegals being brought up from Mexico and kept in terrifying and dangerous conditions.

In fact, Taylor and Zavala stumble into the ramifications of the main story more than anything else, and once again we see how in movies situations can go from bad to the worst you can imagine.

End of Watch is terrific and get ready for the twist at the end.

I’m Dan Culberson and this is “Hotshots.