For the week that ended on January 27th, Universal Studios had the top Blu-ray and overall package media sales with its release of End of Watch. Director David Ayer's cop drama netted the studio a healthy profit when it premiered theatrically last September - it grossed over $41 million domestically and had an estimated production budget of only $7 million. Of its total home media sales, 49% came from the HD format.
Close behind it on the Blu-ray and overall package media charts was last week's big winner, the action-thriller Taken 2. This Liam Neeson-starring sequel to the 2008 action hit grossed over $374 million worldwide for Twentieth Century Fox (on top of its estimated $45 million budget) when it premiered theatrically last October. Even though End of Watch bested it, the film still maintained strong sales figures; Taken 2 sold 65% as many Blu-rays as End of Watch and 94% as many total units, and its HD market share was 34%.
End Of Watch just didn't pull it together for me as well as it did for others. I gave it a 3 out of 5. There was far too much suspension of belief, and far too many coincidental ironies.
1. PRESENTATION: While the whole shaky camera thing was effective in some parts and quite nifty in others, on the whole, it became rather annoying, especially during the fight scenes. I mean, really? Someone in a brutal fight was holding a camera? I know that if I was in one of those confrontations, I would want BOTH of my hands. Just sayin'!
2. DIRECTION: Considering the use of documentary-style filming, it was done quite well; cameras were literally everywhere. It must have been quite an uptaking for the editing department. Even though Mr. Ayer wrote the script, he didn't give himself much to work with. It took a long time before I could determine where the story was going ... close to 45 minutes. That's almost half the movie--ridiculous.
3. ACTING: As everyone has noted in other reviews, the camaraderie and chemistry of the two leads was exceptional, some of it a bit tongue-in-cheek and ambiguous, but exceptional, nonetheless. The cartel members, especially "Bad Evil" and his girlfriend were WAY over-the-top with WAY too much overplay. I have been around people like that, and no one, NO ONE, says the F-Bomb that frequently. Sure, it comes up, but not with every other word as depicted here. The only time I have truly witnessed that type of repetitiveness concerning profane words in a purposeful situation was at a George Carlin concert back in the '80s.
4. STORY: Weak, at best. As already alluded to, the story really didn't get going until the middle of Act 2. There was simply way to much time focused on back-story. It could have been presented in such a way that would speed up the whole "get the audience to care about these characters" process. That would have freed up more time to allow a more expansive focus on the primary narrative.
5. OVERALL: Overrated. This movie is on par with being nothing more than a good episode of Southland. It is on par with every other ho-hum, so-so cop movie. Not bad, but not great. I liked some parts, and I had to suspend my belief system for others. It is a parity, but not (thank goodness) a parody.
Disagree with me all you want. We are all entitled to an opinion.