The LAPD is one of the most controversial police forces not only in the United States, but in the world. A police officer is an occupation that many choose to pursue, but when this get real, many people are really tested to the brink of whether they regret their choice to cross the line and take the oath to serve and protect. Many see it as protection for the people, many see it as a position of power, and most of the time, unfortunately, officers abuse that power, and that could often lead to more consequences.
This movie is about 2 cops that were doing their jobs, they weren’t a part of any real investigation, but they just got caught up in the wrong thing at the wrong time. Jake Gyllenhaal & Michael Pena play partners in the LAPD, and aside from being scripted, Bryan (Jake) is documenting himself throughout his police days. The movie starts off on an exhilarating pulse, but what it really focuses on is the psychological analysis of Jake, and basically what happens when you go through experiences as a cop. The style of how the movie was shot reminded me of Project X & Chronicle, because they used multiple cameras (handhelds) throughout different scenes to give it a documentary feel for it, and this is why I truly believe that Project X is on the tops for movies of this year, simple because of the style they brought, even though Cloverfield & Blair Witch Project came before it.
If you’ve never heard of the TV show ‘Southland’, look it up, because this movie is basically that TV show stretched into a close to 2-hour movie. 2 partners going through the everyday notions of being police officers and dealing with situations, is the premise of the show, and even the style is similar by how it’s sort of documentary styled (I love that style). Gang violence is a big thing in South Central Los Angeles, and that’s where this movie is focused on. Blacks & Latinos (specifically Mexicans) consist of the general populace of that community, and of course cops already have their reputation in that hood. When you take action against a gang, pretty much, you become marked, and that’s what happened here. Who knew that one sequence of events could lead to something greater than them.
The other thing I liked about this movie was that it didn’t heavily focus on the cops doing their jobs, but it focused on the partners’ relationship with each other, and it brought you closer to a bond that seemed real as if how real life police officers would interact with each other. Their personal lives were involved, but it wasn’t too heavily focused. There was a good balance, and it showed that they don’t just fight crime – they save lives, and there are also other endeavours that they want to pursue in life. The feel behind the movie is what drove me and captivated me to watch more, and between the blend of action, humour, and powerful emotions displayed by acting, there really wasn’t a whole lot bad with this movie that I could point out.
Jake has done a movie like this before. If you watched ‘Jarhead’, you would know that it was a movie about soldiers in the war in the Middle East documenting their experiences. This is pretty much the same thing, but it’s in a gang-littered inner-city neighbourhood. It brings it close to home, and although of course Hollywood has to tweak for a bit of the over-the-top dramatics, it was a good display of how a cop’s life worked and just how important a relationship with your partner is.
Jake & Michael made a great tandem for this movie, and the acting felt real, it was dramatic, they brought all of the elements, and for a cop movie, this was really well done. I applaud it, and I encourage everyone to watch it. You’ll be kept on your toes from start to finish; that I can guarantee. But, until you see it, this is my opinion, and most importantly
That’s My Word & It STiXX