Brian Taylor (played by Jake Gyllenhaal) is smart. He’s always thinking … his mind’s ticking over all the time. He’s a cop – in Los Angeles South Central, one of the toughest areas of the LAPD jurisdiction. He loves it. His partner on the beat, Mike Zavala (by Michael Peña), known as “Z”, is his brother in arms. Together they’ve forged a good working style, smooth approach to policing and a light-hearted banter that keeps the horrors of every day bearable. Their partnership extends to friendship with an unspoken but deep respect for each other. They watch each other’s back and work as one. Through the shift, they share their personal lives and their deep love for their partners – Mike’s high school sweetheart is Gabby (by Natalie Martinez) and Brian has recently hooked up with Janet (by Anna Kendrick), who keep them both grounded. One day, they attend a routine job but stumble into a deeper, more sinister situation than they ever imagined. This brings the two beat cops to the attention of seriously high ranking people in an operating Mexican drug cartel who will stop at nothing to get them out of the picture ….
This is a good movie. Jake Gyllenhaal shines here as beat cop Taylor – his performance is authentic and the way he’s so natural is remarkable and commendable. Michael Pena is great too – these two guys work well together on screen and the action is entirely believable. It took me a little while to get into this one, but I’m so glad I stuck with it. The support roles by the police officers and the two female characters, Anna Kendrick and Natalie Martinez, are very good too – all playing strong support but always one step “behind” the two leads, which is appropriate. The relationships are all real and believable. The direction is marvellous and the action is very well done, it’s “in your face” and totally realistic. The whole thing is well done and could easily actually be a documentary rather than a thriller movie. For some reason this movie had a very low profile at the box office in Australia, but that is our loss, it shouldn’t have – if you get the chance, see it.
Made in 2012. Directed by David Ayer.