At Ruthless Reviews we don’t much like cops. Well, I don’t anyway. A lot of the rest of these guys I think are narcs.
So in the Ruthless break room the other morning, it caught one of the other writers by surprise when I told him I’d picked up the movie End of Watch. He says to me, “Hey Chester, didn’t you say something on our forum like, irrespective of some murderous anomalies like Chicago, violent crime is down overall in our nation’s cities and the number of police abuses, thanks especially to the advent of more accountability tools such as quick launch cell phone video, is shown to be up. You said ‘a for profit prison system and the annual increase in tedious laws passing the books, along with militant enforcing of them, is only giving this surface impression that we have more criminals, let alone violent ones and that the police are motivated by their commands and their commands motivated by more federal dollars for increased felony arrests.’ You said, most of us, left to our own devices, provided we’re making a living wage and have access to affordable housing and care, are generally peaceful peoples. You said…”
Finally, sick of his shrill badgering, I jammed my pudding spork into his eye socket.
The fact is, I can like police films. Die Hard.
But, the other fact is, I do despise the po-po. So if you’re looking to read an unbiased article, go on out to Politico. Haha! Pffft. You should have seen the look on your face.
Shot in super-revolutionary-original hand held camera style (FUUUUUUCK!) and widely advertised as delivered by the people behind Training Day, an unimpressive distinction if there ever was one, End of Watch concentrates on a few days in the life of some modern LAPD. A couple relatively young guys who call each other “dude” and “bro” and say “yo fuck dude!” and ask, “Really? Really?”
Like, a lot.
Really? This has got to be how black people felt every time white people stole another phrase from their cultural lexicon. It’s endlessly grating and you know how when you read online comments about ensemble shows like The Walking Dead and LOST and one of the chief complaints is all the characters do is argue and whine and annoy the viewer? That’s this whole movie and it’s not a bunch of folks made up of numerous diversities but just two dudes. And they’re both pigs.
Brian and Zeech, or Zeek or something. I never quite caught what they were calling him, but he’s Hispanic and we’re just going to refer to him going forward as Ponch, because of casual racism. He’s obviously brown due to the good guy/bad guy racial handicap film formula and this huge Latino pageantry seems to follow all of his off duty moves. And that’s one of the more irritating subplots of the film – we’re subjected to broseph discussions about dating, Jake Gylenloo making candlelight love to his new girlfriend (“this one’s a keeper!”) and, when the two guys are bantering, endless jokes about ass-rapings because they’re just like us and like to drink brews and grill food on the deck in the summer months and Jake Gylenloo may not even agree with all the laws he enforces!
I am not at all interested in a humanization process for these sociopaths.
This is a medium produced and distributed by liberal Hollywood and unless they are fighting terrorists in a skyscraper and running barefoot on glass and playing by their own rules or coming out of Detroit to crash Beverly Hills uptight etiquette with fresh comic stylings, I expect to see white cops and a few of their Oreo counterparts wailing on minorities and skaters, planting drugs, and all the other nefarious shit cops do between being rude, unhelpful pricks who only make bad situations worse. God, I had to hide the remote from myself to get through those scenes involving the terminally irritating and toothy Anna Kendrick fawning all over Gylenloo’s character Brian and being “the cool girl” who engages in bawdy jokes with Ponch and becomes just one of the reich. I mean, guys. And why Public Enemy…why did you lend a song to this fascist shit? Why have you forsaken your fans – all the white liberal forty year olds with graying ponytails? WHY!?
So, you get the point. But there is actually a premise beyond all that crap and via Brian’s camera we go on calls with the two officers and, where I assumed these dicks write tickets much of the day and sit in their cruisers and do a lot more of the nothing that real police do, every encounter involves a couple kids duct taped in a closet, numerous attempts on their lives, a consensual fistfight with a bruther, human trafficking, a house fire where both officers nearly burn to death. I believe all these calls occur in the course of a single day. But then this is the same team who brought us Ethan Hawke in a gangbanger’s bathtub with a photo of the gangbanger’s sister in a city of 7 million hurr durr.
Even during a basic old lady welfare check – called in by a concerned relative – they find a bunch of heroin and dismembered bodies. I guess the script cast this as some kind of premeditated setup or something because every time a cop is rude to someone at a backyard keggar, the offended parties risk their freedom, family, and neighborhood by putting a hit out on him. Don’t get me wrong, I live in Iowa, and I realize that some gnarly shit goes down in the barrios of L.A. But these two beat officers find enough crazy shit working a double shift to give us a year’s worth of AP stories. Their lives are always in grave danger and the action starts to climax when the two cops are flushed by the earlier mentioned partygoers and their AK-47’s into the nearby apartment of a Hispanic woman holding a baby. In obvious distress and with growing sentiments of rage, the two cops start calling her a bitch and telling her to sit the fuck down and shut the fuck up. It’s a tense sequence, but I’d argue it’d play out identically if you remove entirely from the equation both the gangbangers and their AK-47’s and substitute in a medium sized barking dog and a loose prescription pill. Expect the behavior of the officers to not be that much different.
“Sit the fuck down, bitch!” “Shut the fuck up!”
And the dog would be tasered.
You know, I’ll admit, there was an ever brief scene where Donnie Darko was lying on the pavement, gut-shot, blood streaming out of his mouth and pooling dramatically on the wet concrete, when I thought to myself, I should be feeling a little sympathy for him and, by extension, cops in general. But it quickly hit me that all that is is manipulation, all that does is give the bullshit illusion to anybody who watches this film that every big city cop engages in numerous gun battles with horrid brown monsters multiple times a day and end their lives heroically right after their girl tells them she is pregnant. Then again..by that point I had glossed over which guy had a baby on the way and which one of these brownshirt pricks finally bit it. I didn’t care.