In the past, police have only been handled two ways in movies–for laughs as is the case with buddy cop movies like Bad Boys, Cop Out, etc. or to create drama and thrills, which is the case with more serious police fare like Copland and others.
David Ayer’s End of Watch is a bit of a rare animal since it combines equal parts comedy and drama, and the reason the movie works so well is that Ayer paired two strong dramatic actors in Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Peña, who also have great sense of humor and comedy chops. Ayer, best known for writing Training Day and directing Street Kings, also made this different from past police films by filming it using a documentary format that’s become fairly common in recent years thanks to movies like Paranormal Activity.
Last week, ComingSoon.net was up in Ontario, Canada for the Toronto International Film Festival, where we had a chance to speak with Ayer, Gyllenhaal and Peña, in separate video interviews. We talked about their reasons for doing the police drama–Ayer having already been involved with a number before–and how they developed the chemistry between the two actors, which took much longer than anyone might ever expect.