Writer/director David Ayer has an interesting resume, centered almost exclusively on the workings of South Californian law enforcement. He’s written the scripts to films like The Fast and the Furious, Training Day, Harsh Times, Dark Blue and Street Kings, with one WWII submarine thriller, U-571, thrown in for good measure.

He doesn’t venture far off in his newest film, which he both writes and directs, but there’s still a breath of fresh air in this trailer for End of Watch:

It’s hard to pinpoint exactly what it is that makes me excited for this film. It could be that it’s filmed in a semi-documentary style, with Jake Gyllenhaal‘s character, Taylor, recording the events on his camcorder.

Maybe it’s that the narrative format seems to be similar to Training Day, seemingly chronicling a single day or thereabouts in the life of Taylor and his partner Zavala (Michael Pena), who become the targets of a Mexican crime gang after they confiscate money and guns from some of their members.

Perhaps it’s the obvious chemistry between Gyllenhaal and Pena in the leads, who bounce off each other with amazing ease, even in these short clips.

It could be the fact that Ayer doesn’t relegate the influence of Hispanic culture in a Hollywood film to raving criminals and catchy swear-words (although both do feature heavily here). Everything in the world of End of Watch, even with all the super-violent sequences, gives off an air of realism, especially in regards to the mixture of Spanish and English and the integration of American and Mexican culture.

Or maybe it’s just that seeing Ugly Betty with her hair pulled back, wearing a police uniform and confidently flashing a loaded handgun, is strangely exhilarating.

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