End of Watch – a genuine brotherly action film

I recently saw the film End of Watch starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Peña. In this movie, the actors play two young police officers patrolling the tough streets of south Los Angeles. During one of their arrests, Officer Taylor and Officer Zavala discover drugs and money belonging to a violent drug cartel. Subsequently, they become marked for death when they further pursue their discovery. I found inspiration in the way the film was created and the relationship between the two cops.

I found End of Watch creatively and personally inspirational for several reasons. The film was shot using a variety of cameras including hand-held and ­­­­­clip-on video cameras. This gives the film an intimacy that brings the audience into the lives of these two men. Throughout End of Watch, I often felt like I was experiencing the events as they occurred – whether it was the officers engaging in a gunfight or having fun at a family celebration. The film felt authentic because it struck a balance between high-speed action, personal life and downtime. While the violence is graphic, it does not feel excessive or glamorized. I am inspired to create a similar sense of balance, realism and unfiltered honesty in my own writing.

This film’s sense of genuineness is also captured through the great performances of Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Peña. The chemistry of the two actors is apparent in their interactions – the way their characters converse, argue and crack jokes at each other is honest and relatable.  I enjoyed the film personally because the camaraderie and loyalty of these two cops reminded me of the bond I share with my brothers and close friends. I am inspired by the film’s depiction of the important virtues of honor, courage and integrity.

End of Watch is much more than an action film about two cops. The film balances a depiction of the professional and personal lives of two men with a brotherly bond. The authenticity of the film and the genuineness of the characters’ relationships are creatively and personally inspiring. These kinds of stories motivate me as a writer and as a man. I believe that great art engages the audience and makes the individual reflect afterwards. The movie End of Watch achieved both for me.

Another great movie with similar themes: The Hurt Locker (2008)

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