It isn’t often I get to see a film where even though there are a fair amount of issues I can nitpick, the overall project is so compelling that the issues don’t matter. End of Watch is one of those movies. The more I think back on the film, the more flaws come to my mind—but the more it also reinforces how much I liked it.
In the trailer of Oren Moverman’s latest film, Rampart (2011), a quote says that “Woody Harrelson is the most corrupt cop you’ve ever seen on screen.” I would guess that that statement is fairly accurate. The character Harrelson plays, L.A. police officer Dave Brown, is not a good man. Heck, he’s not even a descent man. Brown is a down-and-dirty son of a gun in the worst way possible. He’s a hateful, misogynistic, egocentric, adulterous drunk who does whatever he wants, all the while hiding behind the protection of his badge and the power of his gun. When it comes to cinematic anti-heroes, you can’t get much worse than this guy. I usually like protagonists that tiptoe that moral line, who do questionable things as a means to an end. It’s much more interesting to see a person who has faults and eccentricities; it makes their journey much more fascinating to watch and analyze. So why exactly didn’t that work for me here?
In honor of Safe House, Spencer and Greg discuss Denzel Washington. Then they look at cops who play by their own rules, before giving DVD picks of the week.